Cubanow.- The idea of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva in March and April 2005 to vote on the situation of human rights in Cuba is obscene. It represents one more criminal manifestation of US aggression against Cuba and threatens all humanity.

The government of the United States, exposed as by far and away the worlds worst violator of human rights with its proven record of illegal and unilateral wars of invasion, bombing of schools, hospitals, and civilian residential neighborhoods and use of torture, has no moral or legal credibility when it accuses Cuba or any other nation of violating human rights.

It is true that in Cuba there are hundreds of political prisoners being tortured but not by Cubans. These victims of gross human rights violations are imprisoned in the illegally seized and militarily controlled territory of Guantanamo, where US soldiers and doctors routinely torture people of several nationalities captured and held without any formal legal proceedings.

The United States stands condemned by world public opinion as a rogue state.

Disregarding international law and ignoring world tribunals and treaties, it threatens all humanity with its weapons of mass destruction, even saying it may use some of them soon. It maintains more than 700 military bases in 132 countries. Conducting wars around the world, it routinely kidnaps, tortures, and disappears people, incarcerates political prisoners under barbaric conditions, and defends its aggressive state-sponsored terrorism under the

doctrine of pre-emptive war, a contest of good against evil, us against them.

In today"s context, the annual US-sponsored attempt to have the UN condemn Cuba helps maintain a long genocidal history of US state- sponsored terrorism and a baseless, mendacious propaganda against the

Cuban people and their legitimate government. This record is being

documented in the international civil society proceedings of the Benito Juarez Tribunal, to take place in Mexico City, April 24-27, 2005.

The context that this years UN Commission on Human Rights must take into account is not only the absurd US claim that Cuba is part of an axis of evil practicing terrorism. It is a very ominous context of a veritable declaration of war against the Cuban people in the name of freeing them, represented by the Powell Commission 440-page report of May 2004 calling for regime change in Cuba and backed up by a multi-million dollar increase in US funding and training of Cuban mercenaries, terrorists, and propaganda about human rights.

For decades US governments have sought to remove the example offered by Cuba to other Third World countries as an alternative to foreign-dominated capitalist development and to regain US control over Cuba. Now discoveries of oil underneath Cuban waters in the Gulf of Mexico have further whet the appetite of US imperialism (and of the oil, industrial, and financial companies behind it), much in the way Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Venezuela, Mexico and other countries abundant resources and key geographical locations have done in recent years.

The US government seeks to do the impossible: to break the spirit of an entire people in order to annex Cuba and return it to the conditions of virtual slavery Cubans experienced before launching their successful revolution of the 1950s. That slavery, as is well known, was one based on indecently low wages, racism, sexism, and military and police control, the kind of slavery now plaguing so many countries of Latin America, a region the Cuban patriot Jose Marti referred to as Our America. In Cuba, there are no disappeared, no extra-judicial executions or imprisonments, no mass unemployment, no extreme poverty, no malnutrition, and no hunger and all this despite an illegal economic siege of Cuba and its people that has lasted almost half a century and has included military invasions and the use

of biochemical weapons to destroy lives and crops.

Cuba is no utopia, to be sure. But, unlike the United States, it has never claimed to be one. Cuba does offer, with all its human failures, a political and social alternative to the exploitation and ecological degradation imposed by US imperialism and its globalization.

The annual UN Human Development Index has ranked Cuba among the worlds most advanced countries, with a lower infant mortality rate than the US one, a life expectancy at birth of 76.7 years, and an adult literacy rate of 96.9 percent (2002).

In Cuba, unlike the United States, almost everybody graduates high school and is eligible to complete a university education free of charge. Moreover, there is almost no functional illiteracy. Indeed, in terms of Human Development Indicators relative to GDP, Cuba puts the United States to shame.

Moreover, Cuba exports doctors and teachers, not bombs and armaments the way the United States does. Thousands upon thousands of Cubans doctors, teachers, dentists, technicians and workers from all walks of life- practice human solidarity in dozens of countries, in forms of internationalism without precedent in human history.

Five of these Cubans chose to defend their country and other peoples threatened by US-sponsored terrorists by gathering information on the plans of Mafioso Cuban-exile terrorists operating out of Florida. These five Cubans, two of them US citizens, were unjustly incarcerated for ridiculously long terms after a Miami jury trial not of their peers, under the false accusations of conspiracy to commit espionage or murder, while the terrorists upon whom they collected information in Miami people like Orlando Bosch considered by the US Department of Justice to be responsible for countless terrorist acts and the death of dozens of innocent persons

continued to enjoy full liberty and to appear next to President George W.Bush and other US government war criminals who treat them like heroes.

In truth, when one says US Government, one hears the echoes of genocide, and when one says Cuba, one hears simply dignity.

* Dr. James D. Cockcroft, Ph.D., Stanford University, is an online Internet professor for State University of New York and one of two American civil society judges among some 14 judges from different countries sitting on the Benito Juarez Tribunal hearing charges of US terrorism against Cuba. The other American judge is former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark. This article was written for a book being compiled by Atilio A. Boron to be published in 2005.

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