Archive for the ‘UN’ Category

Ecuador whines at the UN Human Rights Council

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Ecuador Times reports that

Today in the Twenty-sixth Session of the Human Rights Council, the Chevron case and its impact on the Ecuadorian Amazon will be submitted. The meeting will be held in Geneva and will finish on June 27.

I doubt that Ecuador will start its presentation with Judge Kaplan’s 500-page decision against Donziger (via Business Roundtable), where Kaplan found not only Donziger but the entire Lago Agrio plaintiff team guilty of fraud,

[Donziger] and the Ecuadorian lawyers he led corrupted the Lago Agrio case. They submitted fraudulent evidence. They coerced one judge, first to use a court-appointed, supposedly impartial, “global expert” to make an overall damages assessment and, then, to appoint to that important role a man whom Donziger hand-picked and paid to “totally play ball” with the [Lago Agrio plaintiffs]. They then paid a Colorado consulting firm secretly to write all or most of the global expert’s report, falsely presented the report as the work of the court-appointed and supposedly impartial expert, and told half-truths or worse to U.S. courts in attempts to prevent exposure of that and other wrongdoing. Ultimately, the [Lago Agrio plaintiff] team wrote the Lago Agrio court’s Judgment themselves and promised $500,000 to the Ecuadorian judge to rule in their favor and sign their judgment. If ever there were a case warranting equitable relief with respect to a judgment procured by fraud, this is it.

However, I fully expect that “ethically diverse demonstrators” may find employment during the HRC junket, as long as there’s any media willing to watch them.


UN: Cuba to chair World Health Assembly

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

The UN believes statistics put out by totalitarian regimes, so, obscene as this may be, it comes as no surprise:
UN Elects Cuba to Chair World Health Assembly Even as Cubans Lack Aspirin, Basic Health

The consensus election today by 194 WHO member states chose the sole candidate, Cuban Health Minister Roberto Tomas Morales Ojeda.

“The sole candidate” makes me suspect that no one reputable would risk their credibility chairing this farce, n’est-ce pas?

UN Watch condemns “UN handing propaganda victory to a dictatorship” and lists several instances of the abhorrent medical conditions Cubans must endure in the island-prison:

While the Cuban articles claimed the Castro regime has achieved numerous health milestones, experts and international observers say the health system is in disarray.

Although Cuba has sent thousands of doctors to Venezuela in exchange for oil, their doctors are considered poorly trained:

Back in 2008 Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez described how, if you’re admitted to a hospital, you must bring everything:

The room has a thin light and the air smells of pain. I begin to unpack what I’ve brought. I take out the little sack of detergent and the aromatic with which I’ll clean the bath; its aroma floods everything. With the bucket we can bathe the lady, using the cup to pour, because the water faucet doesn’t work. For the great scrubbing I brought a pair of yellow gloves, afraid of the germs that spread in a hospital. Mónica tells me to continue unpacking and I extract the package of food and a puree especially for the sick. The pillow has been a wonder and the set of clean sheets manages to cover the mattress, stained with successive effluvia.

The most welcome is the fan, which I connect to two peeled wires hanging from the wall. I continue to unpack and come to the little bag of medical supplies. I have obtained some needles appropriate for the IV, because the one in her arm is very thick and causes pain. I also bought some gauze and cotton on the black market. The most difficult thing—which cost me days and incredible swaps—is the suture thread for the surgery they are going to do tomorrow. I also brought a box of disposable syringes since she yells to high heaven when she sees the nurse with a glass one.

If you want photos, The Real Cuba posts them in all their gut-churning detail.

Could someone please explain why the U.S. continues to host and fund the UN?


The UN Human Rights Council beclowns itself

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Along with Cuba, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam win seats on UN Human Rights Council

New York-based Human Rights Watch said five candidate nations — China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Algeria — have refused to let U.N. investigators visit to check alleged abuses.

If Cuba is not included among those five, it must be because the U.N. investigators have not asked.

They would have their work cut out for them.

Panama: Cuban weapons aboard N. Korean ship part of ‘major deal’

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Boz and Capitol Hill Cubans are posting on this violation on UN sanctions:
Cuban weapons aboard N. Korean ship part of ‘major deal,’ Panama says

Two Cuban MiG-21 jet fighters found aboard a seized North Korean cargo ship three months ago were in good repair, had been recently flown and were accompanied by “brand-new” jet engines, Panamanian officials say.

The assertions deepen the mystery around the Cuban military materiel that was found aboard the 508-foot North Korean freighter Chong Chon Gang, which Panamanian authorities intercepted July 10 off the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal.

“They had jet fuel still inside their tanks,” Foreign Minister Fernando Nunez Fabrega told McClatchy in an interview earlier this month. “They were not obsolete and in need of repair.”

A senior aide to the foreign minister, Tomas A. Cabal, said the deal had been arranged at a meeting June 29 in Havana among Cuban leader Raul Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces Gen. Leopoldo Cintra Frias and Kim Kyok Sik, who was then the chief of the Korean People’s Army general staff. Kim was dismissed from his post in August, a month after the ship was seized.

Expect a strongly-worded letter from the UN to follow.

On their part,

Panama is treading lightly in the case, wary of angering Cuba, which Nunez Fabrega said was “one of the biggest customers of the free zone” in Colon, where it buys abundant goods as a consequence of the five-decade-old U.S. embargo on the island. A ship travels weekly from Colon to Havana to supply Cuba’s tourist hotels.

Is Cuba paying cash for these shipments? If they’re buying on credit, you can bet Panama will never collect.

But then, according to the article,

Panama was eager for the crew and ship to be on their way once North Korea settles a fine of up to $1 million imposed by the Panama Canal Authority for endangering the waterway by transporting undeclared weaponry.

Optimism clearly runs rampant among the Panamanian authorities.

Either that, or that cargo container full of currency is really worth it.

Venezuela: Did anyone miss Maduro at the UN?

Saturday, September 28th, 2013


Maybe a birdie told him to stay away.

As you may have noticed, all the talk at last week’s UN meeting was focused on Obama and Iran, and not on NicoláMaduro, who may enviously look back at the days when Hugo Chávez could make the headlines around the world just by doing stand-up.

Instead, Maduro had to skip the UN altogether and rush back to Venezuela – after signing off oil exploration and gold mining rights to the Chinese (and still coming short on cash) – because

  • while refueling in Vancouver, Canada, he became aware that the DEA could arrest three members of his entourage on charges of drug trafficking, based on information provided by former Aragua state Chavista governor Rafael Isea, now a protected witness for the DEA
  • Cuban spies traveling with Maduro, and identified by Spanish newspaper ABC, would not have been allowed to land in the USA
  • and the fear that, if he prolonged his absence from the country, he may have a coup from the military and/or members of his own party.

Instead Maduro flew back to Caracas and claimed he had to because of not one but two plots against his life, which President Obama’s weakness could not prevent.

Carlos Eire translated the ABC article, which you must read.

Panama: Cuban weapons “in mint condition”

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

The North Korean vessel Chong Chon Gang, which Panama stopped at the Canal, was loaded with armaments in good condition intended for North Korea’s use in its conventional military defenses, not, as Cuba claimed, to be repaired and returned to Cuba:
Via Boz,

A report by SIPRI and 38 North reveals new details of the North Korean ship seized in Panama that contained weapons hidden beneath the 200,000 bags of sugar. In total, 25 shipping containers and six military vehicles were recovered by inspectors, far more than what the Cuban government previously claimed.

The report, Full Disclosure: Contents of North Korean Smuggling Ship Revealed, states that the cargo included

anti-aircraft missile components, two jet fighters and related engines, in fact a total of 25 shipping containers have now been recovered, together with six military vehicles.

PLUS

the ship was also transporting a variety of small arms and light weapons (SALW) ammunition and conventional artillery ammunition for anti-tank guns and howitzer artillery as well as generators, batteries and night vision equipment, among other items.

The various rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and conventional artillery ammunition, many in mint condition, were unused and much of it was in original packing cases. They clearly were not “to be repaired and returned to Cuba.” Rather, these items were intended simply for delivery to North Korea for its own use.

The article’s authors, Hugh Griffiths and Roope Siirtola, ask,

One question that may confront the United Nations Panel of Experts currently investigating the case is whether this concealment device was created specifically for this voyage or is simply evidence of a long-standing practice employed by North Korean-owned vessels transporting illicit materials in a clandestine fashion.

Boz asks,

On top of the sanctions question, Panama and the rest of the hemisphere would be correct to ask how many other arms shipments Cuba has covertly sent through the Panama Canal and where they have gone. It seems unlikely that this shipment was the only one Cuba has done.

A draft report by UN experts sent to Panama after the seizure of the ship in July confirmed a breach of [UN] sanctions, the ministry of public security said.

Meanwhile, over in Cuba, General Pedro Mendiondo Gomez, who was in charge of the armaments found on the Chong Chon Gang, and who was scheduled to be questioned by the UN investigators, had an auto accident last Sunday that killed him and his wife and injured the other passengers in the back seat: his mother- and father- in-law.


Panama: No deal with North Korea

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

While the Chong Chon Gang rust bucket sits waiting for UN inspectors, North Korea has been asking for a “diplomatic solution”.

No go, says Panama: Panama says no diplomatic deal on North Korean ship that carried Cuban weapons

Panama is insisting that the case of a North Korean ship carrying contraband Cuban weapons must be handled by the United Nations despite a soothing diplomatic note from Pyongyang, according a Panamanian government official.

The verbal note from Pyongyang’s embassy in Havana noted that the ship did not seek to endanger the security of the Panama Canal and that North Korea hopes for “amiable cooperation” to resolve the case “diplomatically,” the official said.

North Korea also asked in the note Friday that two of its diplomats be allowed into Panama to provide consular services to the 35 crewmen of the freighter Chong Chon Gang, said the official, who requested anonymity to speak frankly about the case.

Pardon my ignorance, but, what the hey is a “verbal note”? A voice mail?

As you may recall, the ship was loaded,

Havana has acknowledged the Chong Chon Gang was carrying 240 tons of “obsolete” Cuban weapons to be “repaired” and returned to Cuba, including two MiG jets, 15 MiG engines and nine anti-aircraft missiles and parts and two targeting radars.

And don’t forget the anti-tank rocket propelled grenades, while you’re at it.


Argentina: Back to the UN

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

There’s no end to it,

With fresh face-lift and red hair, Cristina went to the UN wearing her widow’s black:
Falklands: Argentina Lodges New Claim At UN
President Cristina Kirchner renews her demand for sovereignty over the islands as her country chairs the Security Council.

Argentina has renewed its demand for sovereignty over the British-ruled Falkland Islands at the United Nations Security Council.

Speaking at the UN in New York, President Cristina Kirchner said: “This is not a fanciful stance. We simply want the United Nations resolution to be enforced and for our two countries to sit down and discuss this.”

Argentina is currently chairing the Security Council, and Ms Kirchner admitted it was controversial to raise the Falklands during a debate ostensibly about the UN’s ties with regional bodies.

Over in Argentina, the headlines were about a huge gas explosion in Rosario:

UNESCO self-ridicules UPDATED

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is going to include “The Life and Works of Ernesto Che Guevara” in this year’s additions to the Memory of the World Register. They ought to dedicate the exhibit to Che Guevara’s forgotten victims.

UNESCO Once Again Makes a Mockery of its Own Ideals by Glorifying Mass Murderer Che Guevara, Says Ros-Lehtinen

UPDATE:
Maradona would fit right in at UNESCO:

Raul Castro, CELAC president

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

The blinders come off:
Gaddafi was praised by the UN’s Human Rights Councila, and now Raul Castro is president of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States:

Cuba will lead CELAC until early 2014, when Ecuador will take over.

But should we be surprised? After all,

The organization was founded in Caracas in 2011 as a brainchild of the Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. It groups 33 nations of Latin America and the Caribbean but excludes the United States and Canada. Many people see it as Chávez’s challenge to the Organization of American States, which is based in Washington and includes the United States and Canada among its members.

Notch it up as a success of the Cuban dictatorship.