Source: Liberato US, February 8, 2021
The weekend brought news of another wrong turn by the Biden administration. The U.S. will be rejoining the UN Human Rights Council. The Council does not deserve its name, not with members like China, Cuba, and Venezuela, along with other notorious human rights abusers like Eritrea and Russia. As former UN Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley puts it, every “murderer, dictator, and thief” is on the Council, which Haley calls a “farce”.
The news out of China last week bears her out. A BBC report documented allegations of systematic rape of Uighur women in Chinese camps. A new book, ‘Made in China’, exposes the CCP’s forced labor practices which made such big news earlier this year. Another report surfaced of China airing forced confessions on Chinese state TV.
In recent months in Venezuela, the authoritarian Maduro regime consolidated power with sham elections giving it control of every institution in the country. A Venezuelan lawmaker threatened that people who didn’t vote for Maduro would not get to eat. The regime raided a charity that was feeding children.
In Cuba, the largest protests in decades took place after arrests were streamed live on social media. Cuban security forces broke up a hunger strike against the communist government’s curbs on civil liberties. A Cuban dissident tried to give a statement condemning “modern-day slavery” in Cuba at the UN Human Rights Council, but Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and China interrupted him and wouldn’t let him finish.
Despite all this, the U.S. will return to the Council as an observer and later seek election as a full member. Trump took the U.S. out of the Council in 2018 for its obsession with Israel – a highly disproportionate number of the Council’s pronouncements were against that country – and the Council’s failure to police its own members. Nikki Haley says it would be much better to tell the council to clean up its act first and get the criminals off its roster, then the U.S. would rejoin. That approach makes much more sense than what Joe Biden plans to do. It’s naïve to think U.S. engagement with hard core human rights abusers like Cuba and North Korea at the Council or anywhere else will reform their behavior. All that will happen, as Nikki Haley pointed out, is that the U.S. by rejoining the Council will further legitimize these regimes and their behavior to the detriment of human rights all around the world. No American can be proud of that.