Nothing more illustrates the moral absurdity of the United Nations than its Human Rights Council, which instead of holding the world's worst actors, like Cuba's Castro regime, accountable for their abysmal human rights record, instead offers them refuge and a platform from which they can defend not only themselves but their fellow dictators and tyrants.
Next week, several new members will be elected to the council, and if the past is any indicator, Cuba, along with China, Saudi Arabia and other chronic human rights abusers will again enjoy the stature that membership provides.
Of course, when it comes to the Human Rights Council and the United Nations, that isn't much.
UN Watch and other non-governmental organizations are lobbying the United Nations to reject Cuba's candidacy for one of 13 seats up for election. Other nations the groups say are "not qualified" for membership are China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Jordan and Vietnam.
Among the activists joining with UN Watch to reject Cuba's candidacy was Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of the late Oswaldo Paya, founder of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) in Cuba.
"In my country there continue to be death threats, arbitrary detentions, beatings in the streets ... and that is a situation incompatible with Cuba's presence on the council," said Paya.
A letter sent from UN Watch to American UN Ambassador Samantha Power and the European Union's foreign minister and signed by a multinational group activists and others reads, in part:
Candidates for the UN Human Rights Council, according to General Assembly Resolution 60/251, are supposed to be countries that “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.”
Yet it is widely recognized that Algeria, China, Cuba, Jordan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam fail to meet these basic membership criteria. They have poor if not abysmal records on human rights protection at home, and on human rights promotion at the UN.
The UN Human Rights Council election is Nov. 12.