The Center for a Free Cuba announced this Monday in Miami the start of a campaign in favor of the “expulsion” of Cuba from the UN Human Rights Council, sending a letter to authorities of countries and international organizations signed by more than 600 personalities who support this measure.
The executive director of the Center, John Suárez, told Efe news agency that the signatures have already been delivered to the offices of the U.S. President Joseph Biden; the Prime Ministers Magdalena Andersson, from Sweden, and Justin Trudeau, from Canada; as well as to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
The idea is that the letter, signed by human rights activists, former diplomats, academics and international personalities, reaches the rulers of all the countries of the United Nations General Assembly.
Suárez explained that the request for Cuba’s expulsion is based on the eighth point of the founding charter of the UN Human Rights Council, according to which when one of the members systematically violates human rights they can be expelled.
The announcement of the campaign was made during a press conference in Miami in which Katiuska Mustelier intervened. She is the sister of Enrique Mustelier, sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for having participated in the peaceful anti-government protests of July 11, 2021.
Mustelier has just returned from Cuba, where she was able to visit her 39 years old brother, member of the opposition Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) since he was 14, in the Guantánamo provincial prison.
As she told EFE, she found him “firm” in his demands for democracy and freedom for Cuba yet “decompensated,” referring to his health, since he suffers from hypertension and diabetes and is unable to treat these diseases in prison.
“In Cuba there is a critical situation that requires international attention, there is no freedom, whoever opposes the government ends up in prison”, said Mustelier, who stressed that the July 11 protest in Guantanamo was absolutely peaceful and can demonstrate it with videos.
Human Rights violations in Cuba denounced
“There was no destruction of private or public property,” she added.
The sister of the political prisoner reiterated that the world should demand respect for human rights from the Government of Cuba and supported the campaign for the Caribbean country to be expelled from the UN Human Rights Council.
When, in early April, the Center for a Free Cuba welcomed the suspension of Russia’s participation in the UN Human Rights Council, it called for the same measure to be taken with China, Cuba and Venezuela.
Russia’s exclusion is based on “serious and systematic violations of human rights” committed by Russian troops in Ukraine.
“The Center for a Free Cuba (CFC), a collaborating organization at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, salutes and joins UNWatch’s call to expel China, Cuba, Eritrea, Libya, Mauritania and Venezuela from the Human Rights Council of the UN,” affirmed John Suárez, executive director of the Center for a Free Cuba, at the time.
Suarez added that “now is the moment to clean the dysfunctional Human Rights Council so that it can carry out its duties at this critical time.”
Cuba was elected to the Council in 2020, the same year as Russia, China and Pakistan.
The Cuban regime “has been, for decades, at the forefront to undermine international human rights standards,” the Center for a Free Cuba pointed out.