The U.N. Never Disappoints

Thursday, October 29, 2009
Yesterday, the United Nation's General Assembly voted 187-3 on a nonbinding resolution opposing U.S. sanctions towards Cuba.

As advocates of current U.S. policy towards Cuba -- which conditions the lifting of sanctions to the Castro regime's respect for the fundamental human, political, civil, economic and social rights of the Cuban people -- we were frankly relieved by the U.N.'s rejection.

That's right, you read it correctly.

First of all, it's important to remember that the U.S. provides more humanitarian aid to the Cuban people than all 187 of the "opposing" countries put together -- a fact the U.N. conveniently disregards. Therefore, it's unclear with what moral authority these countries dare judge U.S. policy.

But more importantly, it would have been terribly embarrassing -- not to mention discrediting -- for the same General Assembly that recently put on this "circus" to have actually endorsed U.S. policy:

At UN, North Korea Brags, Kouchner Baffled by Burma, Zelaya by BlackBerry

UNITED NATIONS, (Inner City Press) -- The UN's General Debate grew even more surreal on Monday. North Korea said its people are happy and have nothing to envy. The ousted president of Honduras Mel Zelaya spoke to the General Assembly through his foreign minister's BlackBerry, pushed up against the microphone.

Meanwhile, the representative of the coup leader of Guinea spoke unmolested, even as more than 70 protesters of the coup were shot dead in Conakry. Few commented on this, even as a throng of Guinean shouted outside the UN that the dictatorship should not be allowed to speak. When all you have is bauxite, oppression draws little notice.

Myanmar, on the other hand, now has natural gas. This explains the sudden ease of pressure, Hillary Clinton's announcement that the U.S. will "engage" with the junta. Inner City Press is told that at the beginning of last week's meeting of the Group of Friends on Myanmar, France's Bernard Kouchner said, we don't know what to do. Apparently the view of the oil company Total now rules.

About North Korea, the head of the UN's Department of Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe, pursued into the hallway after his briefing by reporters for Japanese media as well as Inner City Press, acknowledged that while Japan had raised with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon the issue of the abductees in North Korea, Ban never raised it with North Korea when he met them.

Meanwhile Angola spoke of its basketball team's wins, Timor-Leste spoke pro-Cuba. Namibia spoke pro Western Sahara, as Hugo Chavez has, while Guinea's junta favored Morocco. And Malaysia denounced those who in the run up to the Copenhagen climate change meeting are seeking to "Steal the Deal."

Phew!