u.n. watch watched: nicaragua and libya

Nicaragua has received more bad international press coverage for it’s position on Libya and Syria. The latest criticism comes from the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights, and UN Watch. They have circulated a statement, picked up by some newspapers, rejecting Nicaragua’s candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council. In the statement they had this to say:

“Congo, Kuwait and Nicaragua have poor records in respecting the basic human rights of their own citizens,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “and they have consistently voted the wrong way on UN initiatives to promote and protect the human rights of others.”

“As an observer state in recent UN human rights council sessions, Nicaragua strongly praised the governments of Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi and Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, attempting to shield them from scrutiny. It will be an insult to their victims — and a defeat for the global cause of human rights — if the UN now elects Nicaragua as one of the council’s 47 voting members.”

Whilst Nicaragua’ support for Libya and Syria has caused scathing comment from the Right, and more sighs from some of the Left, Nicaragua has made arguments why it has taken such a stand. The latest was last week, in a session of the UN Security Council.

“Nicaraguan representative to the UN Maria Rubiales de Chamorro opposed the bombing of Libya, saying the UN Charter does not include any reference to an alleged right of humanitarian interference, but rather considers paramount respect for sovereignty and the principle of non intervention in the internal affairs of states.

She wondered how they intend to protect civilians by bombing them, how many civilians have been killed in the name of the alleged protection of civilians and how the assassination of a sovereign country’s president can be planned under this concept.”

Others have raised questions about the demonstrations in Libya and Syria. Several weeks ago Toni Solo called into question the motivation of the bombing in Libya: the latest offensive in the West’s war in humanity. Prof Michel Chousudovsky raises similar concerns in Syria: who is behind the protest movement? Fabricating a pretext for a US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention”

You don’t have to be a paid up member of the Gaddafi supporters club to be concerned about the bombing of Libya, and the way the targets of the war are being extended seemingly on a weekly basis. You also have to questions the motivations of the human rights groups criticising Nicaragua. Both UN Watch and the Lantos Foundations for Human Rights were set up by Washington insiders – the former by UN Ambassador Morris B Abram, the latter by US Congressman Tom Lantos.

Whilst UN Watch and the Landos Foundation rejected Nicaragua, they backed a list of other countries, including Chile (who have imprisoned Mapuche land protesters under notorious anti terrorism laws dating from the fascist Pinochet) and Italy (who’s anti Roma policies are notorious across Europe, and who recently refused to rescue refugees crossing the Mediterranean, ironically fleeing Libya: 63 died on board).

Perhaps a clue to their opposition to Nicaragua lies in the second part of their statement: they have consistently voted the wrong way on UN initiatives to promote and protect the human rights of others. This presumably refers to Nicaragua’s steadfast support for Palestine, and its refusal to back the US and NATO military interventions anytime, anyplace, anywhere.


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