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Human Rights Watch and Cuba

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As a reward for his services, in June 2009 Vivanco received a National Endowment for Democracy award for his work for "Democracy in Cuba'. This made the US Government link quite clear.

US propaganda campaigns against Cuba have not flagged in half a century, and HRW is just one of the more recent contributors. Responding to cries from the US for "human rights and freedom' one Cuban diplomat wearily replied, "of course, and the US has a very long history in this, from Batista, Somoza, Trujillo, Duvalier, Pinochet, Videla', referring to the US-backed dictators of Cuba, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Chile and Argentina.

All the prisoners HRW spoke with had been released. One wonders what the HRW report might have said had it discovered a hidden prison in Cuba where hundreds were held without charge, tortured and argued to be beyond the reach of any legal system?

In the case of those prisoners - held by the US military in occupied Cuba, at Guantanamo Bay - HRW wrote (in January 2010) that US President Barrack Obama should "renew his pledge" to close the prison. No condemnation of the "abusive' Washington regime for its "repressive machinery'. But why should we expect such candour and self-criticism from the US elite?

The lesson from the Human Rights Watch reports on Cuba is that we have nothing to learn about the little Caribbean island whether on its weaknesses or strengths from a self-appointed organisation which represents the US corporate and foreign policy elite.

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Tim Anderson is an academic and social activist based in Sydney, Australia

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The fact that the US is guilty of human rights abu... by Eric Scheihagen on Friday, Feb 12, 2010 at 1:24:02 PM
and at a minimum, should fire Vivanco.Human Rights... by Elizabeth Ferrari on Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 12:15:52 AM
Well done, Tim. This is a short piece I wrote when... by Elizabeth Ferrari on Monday, Feb 15, 2010 at 12:10:17 AM