Writes Candia Dames in the Bahamas Journal on “Row Over Cuba Vote”:
Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell tabled in the House of Assembly on Wednesday documents that confirmed that the Bahamas voted recently in support of Cuba’s ascension to the new United Nations Human Rights Council. But the minister refused to state in clear terms while addressing the lower chamber exactly how the Bahamas voted.
The Bahamas — sadly — ended up voting for Dictator Castro.
“The language is contrary to the spirit of comity between the two countries…The position of the government as it relates to Cuba is no different from that of its citizens who, as the leader of the Official Opposition has pointed out, are free to travel where they wish. The government must protect their interests.”
Sadly, Cubans are not free to travel where they wish.
According to Ms. Archer, the Mission took into consideration each country’s human rights record and voluntary commitments to human rights. It also took into consideration, the Bahamas’ relationship with specific countries and the need to ensure a broad and varied spectrum of political, economic and cultural views on the council. Other factors were also taken into consideration. One of the countries that the Mission advised the Bahamas to vote for as a first choice was Cuba. Among the back-up candidates the Mission recommended the Bahamas vote for were Iraq and Iran [!!!].
Iran? The theocratic Iranian government is the greatest violators of human rights. Iran Focus explains how the Iranian government treats children: Girl, 16, hanged in public in Iran:
On Sunday, August 15, a 16-year-old girl in the town of Neka, northern Iran, was executed. Ateqeh Sahaleh was hanged in public on Simetry Street off Rah Ahan Street at the city center. The sentence was issued by the head of Neka’s Justice Department aznd subsequently upheld by the mullahs’ Supreme Court and carried out with the approval of Judiciary Chief Mahmoud Shahroudi. In her summary trial, the teenage victim did not have any lawyer and efforts by her family to recruit a lawyer was to no avail. Ateqeh personally defended herself. She told the religious judge, Haji Rezaii, that he should punish the main perpetrators of moral corruption not the victims. The judge personally pursued Ateqeh’s death sentence, beyond all normal procedures and finally gained the approval of the Supreme Court. After her execution Rezai said her punishment was not execution but he had her executed for her “sharp tongue”.
Returning back to “Row Over Cuba Vote”:
[…] Minister Mitchell laid on the table of the House a copy of the record of the votes taken by the Bahamas on the embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba. He noted that on each occasion, except two, the Ingraham government voted with the vast majority of the members of the UN General Assembly against the embargo imposed by the United States. “If the Cuban government and people were so odious then why did he not change the Bahamas’ position when it was his time?” Minister Mitchell questioned.
Mr. Ingraham…said that during the time when the former government appeared to have voted in favour of Cuba on certain issues, it was because voting was done in groupings, meaning that countries were not free – like they were during the recent UN vote – to vote for individual countries.” We would have ended up with many human rights violators on the commission before now,” he explained. “That’s why the UN scrapped that system and put in a system where you have to vote for individual countries. So this is the first time the Bahamas has had an opportunity to vote for or against an individual country.” He said an FNM government never would have supported Cuba’s ascension to the United Nations Human Rights Council. “There are many things that we support Cuba [on], but not to be a member of the human rights commission,” Mr. Ingraham said. “Cuba’s human rights record does not lend itself to membership on a human rights commission and one of those tenets for a human rights commission would be countries that allow their citizens to leave the country when they choose to and return when they choose. Cuba does not do that.”
[…] “The most critical (and important) relationship the Bahamas has with a country outside its borders is the one with the United States of America. We want to maintain the relationship with Cuba, Haiti and other countries in the Caribbean and the world, but we’re not going to put at risk our relationship to cosy up with and be friends with Cuba.”