Friday, January 23, 2015

An Obstacle to Normalization: Human Rights in the United States

When asked whether human rights had been brought up during the 18 months of clandestine meetings between the U.S. and Communist Cuba, Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs and head of the U.S. delegation currently in Havana, replied: "I do not necessarily think that we are talking about direct human rights conditionality in the restoration of diplomatic relations part. That is a legal process, if you will, or a diplomatic process, that will be fairly mechanical." Or in one word, no. Diplomatic recognition of the Castro regime is not conditioned on the recognition by the Castro regime of the human rights and civil liberties of the Cuban people. Nothing as incendiary as that will be allowed to damage the internal works of the well-oiled machine of American diplomacy. This is just a "mechanical" process which is best accomplished by letting the normalization juggernaut find the straightest line to its goal and plunge ahead. Sentimental quiddities must not be allowed to derail this historic moment; for time is of the essence if President Obama hopes to shake hands with Fidel's automaton in Havana. Great, then, must have been the shock of the U.S. delegation when their hosts introduced the subject of human rights at their meeting on Thursday. Yes, the Cuban delegates expressed their shock at human rights abuses in the United States and offered their esteemed expertise at creating a more just and equitable society. Faced with such provocation, Jacobson had no choice but to bring the juggernaut to a shaky stop. She claimed at a news conference that she had "pressed" the Cubans about human rights, but when they objected to the use of that word (which they interpreted as "pressure"), she was quick to clarify that she would never pressure the Cuban "government" to do anything, and we believe her. No doubt the juggernaut will be in full gear tomorrow. ¿Derechos humanos, para qué?

A Cuba también le importan los derechos humanos en EE.UU.

Juventud Rebelde

22 de Enero del 2015 18:18:21 CDT

Gustavo Machín, vicedirector general de Estados Unidos en el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba y quien funge como vocero en las conversaciones, afirmó que los representantes de los dos países han avanzado sobre varios temas de interés bilateral como las nuevas regulaciones a partir de las medidas anunciadas por el presidente Barack Obama. Entre los temas que refirió como abordados se encuentran las telecomunicaciones. También, dijo, se ha hablado de derechos humanos, democracia y operaciones internacionales, dijo.

«Mi delegación expresó sus preocupaciones sobre el ejercicio de los derechos humanos en Estados Unidos», sostuvo. Además, Cuba habló de la contribución que, a partir de su experiencia, puede hacer al mundo en materia de derechos humanos.

«Propusimos sostener en un futuro un diálogo respetuoso sobre bases recíprocas donde abordemos nuestras preocupaciones sobre derechos humanos», reveló el segundo jefe de la delegación cubana a las conversaciones oficiales con Estados Unidos. «Ha sido un diálogo constructivo», añadió Machín. 

Cuba Also Cares About Human Rights in the U.S. 

Juventud Rebelde

January 22, 2015 18:18:21 CDT

Gustavo Machín, vice director general of the U.S. desk at the Cuban Foreign Affairs Ministry, who also serves as spokesman for the ongoing talks, affirmed that representatives of the two countries had made progress on several areas of bilateral interest such as new regulations to implement the measures announced by President Barack Obama. Among the topics which he mentioned were discussed during this latest round of talks was telecommunications. Also mentioned, he said, were human rights, democracy, and international operations.

"My delegation expressed its concern about the human rights situation in the United States," he said. Moreover, Cuba spoke about the contribution which, on the basis of its own experiences, it can make to the world on the subject of human rights.

We proposed to hold a future dialogue, upon a mutually respectful and reciprocal basis, where we will voice our concerns about human rights," revealed the second chief of the Cuban delegation to the official negotiations with the United States. "It has been a constructive dialogue," added Machín.

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