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Public Statements

Cuba's Election to U.N. Human Rights Council

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. SIRES. Mr. Speaker, I am outraged by the persistent failure of the United Nations Human Rights Council to fulfill its responsibilities to promote and protect human rights. The U.N. Human Rights Council has consistently targeted Israel and recently displayed a flagrant disregard for a strong human rights agenda with the election of the Cuban ambassador as vice president of the council.

The State Department 2009 report on human rights described Cuba as a totalitarian state that continues to deny its citizens their basic human rights and commits numerous and serious abuses. It is appalling that a country with such a poor human rights record has been elected as a leader of a body to create, to protect, and promote universal human rights.

While these election results are absurd, they are reflective of a larger problem--the overall state of the U.N. Human Rights Council. The council doesn't need to improve its record on protecting human rights; it needs to reverse its record. If the council continues to ignore its own members' egregious human rights records and persists in its anti-Israel campaign, then maybe the United States should move its funds and participate elsewhere.

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