State Department Looking Everywhere Except Inward

Dalia González Delgado

IN terms of human rights, the United States acts like the judge and executioner every time that it attempts to accuse virtually the entire planet, when its own criminal record makes it a prime example of human rights abuses.

Once again, the U.S. Department of State has sent to Congress its annual report on human rights in the world and, once again, expresses concern about what is taking place in many other countries, including Cuba, where the report states, “the systemic repression of fundamental freedoms” continues.

It would seem that the opinions of many public figures, such as Elías Carranza, director of the UN Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, who stated, “Cuba is the safest country in the region,” go unheard or are not seen as important. It is not the first time that the United States has ignored UN criteria.

The world is changing; Cuba is changing, updating its economic model. However, U.S. rhetoric toward the Revolution remains the same. It insists on including the country on its blacklists in order to justify the blockade, which is doubtless a massive and systematic violation of human rights. In fact, the Geneva Convention of 1948 classifies it as an act of genocide.

According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the 2011 report makes it clear that governments all over the world are being watched and will be held responsible.

The Department of State is looking everywhere except inward.

With the largest prison population in the world, the United States is the only country where minors can receive a life sentence without the right to conditional liberty. Approximately 10,000 minors are incarcerated in adult penitentiaries.

What is taking place in the U.S. prison camp on the illegally occupied Guantánamo base is a violation of human rights. What is happening to immigrants in the United States is a violation. Is it not a fact that the country is one of the most racist on earth? The same divine right allows it to judge everyone, gives it the freedom to decide upon others’ lives and frequently kill civilian populations with drones and preventive wars.

It is outrageous to accuse Cuba, a country which is making every effort to promote, in practice rather than rhetoric, the most fundamental right of human beings: the right to life.

This is evident to any visitor and most likely the reason for the Cuban travel ban in place for U.S. citizens.

Speaking in Cannes before the screening of the film 7 Days in Havana, Benicio del Toro, who directed one section of the movie, affirmed that the difficulties the U.S. imposes on its own citizens who wish to travel to Cuba could be considered a form of censorship.

Another of the directors, Spaniard Julio Medem, who emphasized that the film “talks of the suffering of the situation and of survival,” but also of the optimism of Cubans, “beautiful, talented, close, cordial…”

One could continue with examples but the list would be endless. Besides, it is clear now: the United States needs to play the judge, to avoid being judged as the executioner.

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