Last week, 181 nations voted in the U.N.'s General Assembly ("UNGA") to give Venezuela a seat in the U.N.'s Security Council, despite that government's violations of human rights; subversion of democratic institutions; involvement in international narcotics trafficking; and blatant support for the world's rogue regimes and terrorist organizations.
Today, by a similar margin, the nations of UNGA voted against the United States' policy of conditioning the lifting of Cuba sanctions to the release of political prisoners; the recognition of universally-recognized human rights; and the legalization of political parties, an independent media and labor groups.
Both votes are representative of the moral deficiencies and institutional contradictions plaguing UNGA. Yet, while the Venezuela vote is within UNGAs multilateral purview, the U.S.'s bilateral policy towards Cuba is clearly not.
The decision of which nations the U.S. chooses to conduct commerce with belongs to the U.S. government; specifically, to our democratically-elected Congress. It does not belong to UNGA.
If other nations choose to do business with Cuba's dictatorship, that's (for worse) their prerogative. As a matter of fact, practically every other nation in the world does business with Cuba's dictatorship and we've seen first-hand how those billions are all funneled through Castro's monopolies, while serving no benefit to the Cuban people.
In contrast, the U.S. rightfully believes it's not in its national interest to finance the sole remaining dictatorship in the Americas.
UNGA should instead devote its time to reflecting on its debilitating institutional contradictions.
For example, why does it allow Cuba, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Vietnam to sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council?
Why does it always target Israel for human rights violations, but not the world's worst dictatorships?
And last, but not least:
Why did it allow Cuba to escape without reprimand for the most egregious violation -- ever recorded -- of its own Security Council sanctions towards North Korea?
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