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Thread: U.S. Report Slams Cuba, Chavez

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    U.S. Report Slams Cuba, Chavez

    U.S. report slams Cuba, Chávez
    Cuba, Venezuela and Haiti were among the nations singled out for human rights abuses in the State Department's annual report.


    The State Department's annual human rights report Wednesday skewered Cuba and Venezuela for cracking down on dissidents, and it admonished Colombia and Haiti's interim government for allowing abusers to go free.

    Documenting in exhaustive detail human rights issues in 196 countries, not including the United States, the report's introduction focused largely on the Middle East, Eastern Europe, East Asia and Africa.

    But Cuba, the increasingly autocratic rule of President Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and impunity of military and illegal paramilitary fighters in Colombia made the list of some of the world's worst examples of human rights abuses.

    "In Cuba, the regime continued to control all aspects of life through the Communist Party and state-controlled mass organizations," the report said. "The regime suppressed calls for democratic reform, such as the Varela Project, which proposed a national referendum.

    "Authorities arrested, detained, fined and threatened Varela activists and the government held at least 333 political prisoners and detainees."

    Venezuela came under attack for politicizing the judicial branch and cracking down on press freedom, including "legal harassment and physical intimidation" of journalists.

    "The government use the judicial system selectively against the political opposition, and implementation of a 2004 media law threatened to limit press freedom."

    The State Department also pointed out the difficulties that many countries in the Americas are having sustaining democracy, including Ecuador, where the legislature last year removed democratically elected President Lucio Gutierrez.

    Haiti's U.S.-backed interim government, which took over when President Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled the country during an armed revolt, was criticized for its inability to reform the police and judicial systems.

    The State Department noted that police raided a soccer match in Port-au-Prince in August looking for gang members and shot and killed six young men. Other groups said more people were killed, hacked to death by gang members working with the officers. Fifteen officers have been arrested for involvement in the massacre.

    U.S. officials also criticized the Haitian justice system for releasing two alleged human rights abusers of years past -- former Port-au-Prince police chief Jackson Joanis, held in the killing of The Rev. Jean-Marie Vincent; and Louis-Jodel Chamblain, who was convicted in absentia for a massacre in the northern port city of Gonaives in 1994.

    "The release of Chamblain and Joanis . . . called into question the [interim government's] commitment to respect rule of law and to strengthen democratic institutions in the country."

    The State Department report does not look at the United States' own practices, which have come under increasing criticism in the past two years for alleged abuses against terrorism suspects abroad and a legal moves seen as aiming to stifle the press, including the jailing last year of then New York Times reporter Judith Miller.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    Partridge Guest
    Actually, Cuba has 833 political prisoners. 500 of them are held in this place called Guantanamo Bay, which some other country (I forget which) controls...

  3. #3
    EminemsRevenge Guest
    Let's not forget Haiti's human rights violations---

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