Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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The UN Human Rights Council Honors Hugo Chavez

by Elliott Abrams
March 7, 2013


During the years when the late Hugo Chavez ruled Venezuela and attacked human rights there, the UN Human Rights Council was unable to adopt one single resolution about Venezuela. To this sad record a final note was added this week: a moment of silence in his honor.

This would have been objectionable even if the Council had a tradition of such actions, and was following its own rules and procedures. But it has no such practices, so the homage to Chavez was simply a mockery of the Council’s purposes. UN Watch has an account of the event here, calling the honor to Chavez

excessive, uncustomary, and disrespectful of its own experts’ findings of gross and systematic human rights abuses committed by the Caracas government, and of testimony by Venezuelan victims whom UN Watch had brought before the Council.

Now should be a time for the UN to show solidarity with the victims…and not with the perpetrators.

Instead of praising an autocrat who persecuted his country’s independent judges, journalists, human rights activists and students — and who vocally supported mass murderers, tyrants and terrorists in Syria, Libya, and Iran — the UN should be apologizing for having just elected the Chavez regime to its human rights council, and it should begin to call for accountability, reform and an end to impunity in Venezuela.

It is no doubt impossible to prevent the Cuban ambassador from honoring Chavez, but here the institution honored him–putting it as UN Watch said on the side of the perpetrators instead of the victims of human rights abuses. The United States–which stayed out of the Council under President Bush but joined it under President Obama–should investigate how this incident happened and take steps now to prevent a re-occurrence. A festival of tears when Fidel Castro dies would dishonor the Council forever and cannot be permitted.

Post a Comment 5 Comments

  • Posted by Thomas L Vaultonburg

    A fascinating divergence of opinion about who this man was and what he did or did not do for the people of South America. When the dust settles I wonder what the consensus will be. http://www.hallofbaddudes.com/2013/03/hugo-chavez-friend-of-ozzie-guillen-dead.html

  • Posted by Frieda Pais

    The U.N. Human Rights Council has long become a sham and its bigoted approach to world issues is shameful to those who really stand up for human rights.

  • Posted by Dean Smallwood

    The United Nations became redundant years ago .

  • Posted by david

    I toasted Hugo’s passing by stating: Congrats to Satan for having a new lover for all eternity.

  • Posted by Eva Perl

    Type your comment in here…
    The UN Human Rights has no roll to fill. It is meanless and empty suffers of oral diarrhoea. Sad. I wonder what kind of people work there, what is their profession. Anyway, we all pay for this kind of shit

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