Last Sunday, CNN's Christiane Amanpour interviewed Cuban dictator Raul Castro's daughter, Mariela.
It was part of Castro's recent propaganda tour, courtesy of the gracious visa and other taxpayer funded services of the State Department.
In response to a question about American hostage Alan Gross, Castro answered:
"Alan Gross has been granted everything that he’s asked for: he has been able to see his wife, he has been able to have matrimonial, conjugal visits, and he has been treated with respect and dignity the way we always treat prisoners in Cuba. We haven’t received the same treatment on the other hand for our five prisoners who have very long sentences that are not right. I think that the six must be released—both the five Cubans and Alan Gross."
Of course, Amanpour could have followed up with a variety of questions, such as:
-- So why doesn't your family allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to enter the island and visit the prisons?
-- So why doesn't your family allow the U.N.'s Special Rapporteur on Torture to enter the island (despite falsely promising to do so year-after-year) and visit the prisons?
-- So why did the U.N.'s Committee Against Torture blast your family's regime just last week (see below) for its lengthy abuses towards Cuban prisoners?
But sadly, Amanpour didn't.
Instead, she posted "cute" Castro family pictures on her CNN blog.
In The Miami Herald:
UN panel blasts Cuba on human rights abuses
The U.N. called Friday for an independent body to gather, investigate and report on complaints of human rights abuses in Cuba.
The U.N.’s Committee Against Torture hammered Cuba on Friday for a lengthy string of human rights abuses and repeatedly complained the island had provided few or none of the details about specific allegations of abuses that it had requested.
The panel noted that it was “concerned by reports denouncing the use of coercive methods during (police) interrogations, particularly the denial of sleep, detention under conditions of isolation and exposure to sudden changes in temperatures.”
On Cuba’s prisons, it wrote that it “continues to be supremely concerned by the reports received about the … overcrowding, malnutrition, lack of hygiene and healthy conditions (and) adequate medical attention.”
There have been thousands of complaints of short-term detentions of dissidents, it added, singling out José Luis Ferrer García and Oscar Elias Biscet. And Cuban officials never explained the deaths of dissidents Orlando Zapata Tamayo and Juan Wilfredo Soto García.
Cuba should establish an independent body to gather, investigate and report on allegations of government abuses, and should meet its promise to allow a visit by the U.N.’s top official on several types of mistreatments, the committee noted in a 6,000-word report.
The report summed up the panel’s conclusions after its May 22-23 hearings in Switzerland on Cuba’s compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Marked “unedited,” it was issued by the U.N. media office in Geneva.
Using the U.N.’s typically diplomatic language, the report noted the panel “laments,” “expresses concern,” “still worries,” “disagrees,” “has serious reservations,” “views with concern,” “considers it indispensable” and is “seriously concerned.”
But the report Friday amounted to a harsh and detailed indictment of Cuba’s human rights record, especially in areas that involve physical punishments or abuses, such as the justice and prison systems and the harassment of dissidents.
Cuba’s own report on its compliance with the convention on torture, presented to the panel in May, was more than nine years late and “does not fully meet the guidelines” set by the panel, it noted. The 10-member committee reviews countries’ records on a rotating basis.
In a sharply worded section, the report urged Cuba “to investigate, without delay, exhaustively, without bias and in an efficient way, all deaths of prisoners.” Cuba told the panel that prison officials were not responsible for any of the 202 such deaths in 2010-2011, but gave no further information.
The report also blasted Cuba for the rapid increase in the use of short-term arrests of dissidents without any judicial orders, usually to keep opposition activists away from activities. Cuban officials told the panel last month that all detentions follow due process.
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06/03 - 06/10
- "Down With Assad, Down With Castro"
- Quote of the Hearing
- Democracy, Development and Dignity
- Watch Today's Senate Hearing
- What CNN Failed to Ask Mariela Castro
- Senate Hearing in the Morning
- Treasury Secretary Geithner on Sanctions
- Today on "From Washington al Mundo"
- Bad and Worse News on Castro's "Reforms"
- Cuba Poll Results: Soviet Similarities
- Human Rights Violations Rise in Cuba
- Cubans Overwhelmingly Want Change
- The Audacity of Odebrecht
- Today on "From Washington al Mundo"
- State Gave Mariela Castro VIP Treatment
- A Wonderful Picture
- Another Castro Official Purged
- Raul Turns 81, Younger Than His Succesor
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