If you throw Hong Kong students in jail demanding freedom and true democracy, poison opponents, cut an awkward journalist to pieces and turn a revolution into a dictatorship, you are fully entitled to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council. China, Russia and Cuba were elected yesterday by the secret ballot of the general assembly of the glass building on the bridge of the United Nations Human Rights Council. At least Saudi Arabia didn’t win, cutting inconvenient journalists to pieces. Even the other three are not exactly shining examples of freedom, respect for human life and democracy. A Watch, a non-governmental organization that makes a fuss at the UN, compared these appointments “to a gang of arsonists enlisted in a fire station.”
China, which in its home makes not only political dissidents disappear, but anyone who allows himself to raise his finger to ask for light on the virus that is upsetting the world has had no obstacles. Even the repression of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong and the imposition of free-killing laws have not affected the at least 97 countries that must vote in favor. Not to mention the Muslim minority of the Uyghurs, who are “re-educated” by the Communist mandarins with lager methods.
The Saudi Arabia of Mohammed bin Salman, the heir to the throne, which tears apart the inconvenient journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, and continues to jail women who lift the veil too much has been rejected. If the Chinese had to contend with terribly weak rivals like Nepal and Uzbekistan, the Russians and Cubans had their way cleared thanks to behind-the-scenes deals.
The Kremlin Tsar, Vladimir Putin, is certainly not a dictator, but too many poisonings, such as the one who half killed the opponent Alexei Navalny are not a good business card. And even the support for Alexander Lukashenko, the last Soviet-era dinosaur in Europe, clashes with the Human Rights Council.
Cuba, which has transformed the rebel island into a family-run dictatorship of the Castro brothers, will surely make a great impression in defense of freedom of expression, a fundamental right. Rosa María Payá, daughter of a famous dissident, declared that “the existence of an unrivaled candidacy of the dictatorship is not only an outrage against the Cuban people, but also a shame for the governments that sit at the United Nations”. England has timidly hinted that it will vote against China. True democracies as a whole could have avoided yet another fool, but human rights are valid on paper and dissolve in the face of the cynicism of Realpolitik.