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Julie Webb-Pullman: Talking Turkey at UNCHR

Talking Turkey at UNCHR

By Julie Webb-Pullman In Cuba

Havana, Apr 14 - Like a new annual tradition, the US has again trundled out the tired old turkey of alleged Cuban human rights abuses for another roasting in Geneva. But rather than the generous basting they hoped for, the US had to be satisfied with the scrapings from the bottom of the pan to get their resolution onto the plate.

That the stuffing is falling out despite the fancy trimmings and trussing is no big surprise - cries of "fowl"-play have been resounding around the world for the last month, including from such illustrious persons as Nobel Prize laureates, parliamentarians of several countries, academics, artists and writers alike, as well as ordinary citizens too numerous to count.

What is surprising is that countries who should know better, like Guatemala and Honduras, who receive free medical assistance from Cuba while the US rapes what few resources they possess, joined the gravy-train.

And what was the guts of it? The resolution called on Cuba to cooperate with the special UN envoy, French magistrate Christine Chanet, who recently urged Cuba to free all political dissidents, grant freedom of expression, and lift restrictions on travel...

I fear the lady has had her head too long in the oven! Cuba cannot possibly release all political dissidents because they are being held by the US in Guantanamo, over which Cuba has no control. And any "dissidents" who have committed criminal acts for which they have been accorded due process, tried, convicted, and sentenced, must still pay the penalty for their criminal acts, however hard they gobble about their glowing journalistic credentials.

Having said that, many of them have been already released under humane considerations on the part of the Cuban authorities.

She does not need to come to Cuba to taste freedom of expression - there are several thousand Cubans singing, dancing, exhibiting their artworks, screening their films, acting, writing and publishing all around the world at any one time - even, Fidel forbid, criticizing aspects of their country!

And yes, all of those Cubans in the US, not to mention a few million other US citizens, just can"t wait for the restrictions on travel to Cuba to be lifted - by the US government!

George W Bush and his Words of Mass Deception may have fooled the other farmyard animals snuffling in his trough, but one thing the vote showed unequivocally is that there are at least 32 who aren"t afraid to talk turkey - or give the US the bird!


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