[Marxism] Cynthia McKinney: Dispatch from an Int'l Conference Being Held in Cuba

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Dec 11 07:12:00 MST 2008

From: HQ <hq2600 at gmail.com>
Sent: Dec 11, 2008 1:13 AM
To: updates at lists.allthingscynthiamckinney.com
Subject: [hq2600] From Cynthia McKinney: 
Dispatch from an International Conference Being Held in Cuba

On the morning of December 10, 2008, Cindy Sheehan, Nelson Valdes,
Saul Landau, and I signed a declaration as the U.S. delegates to an
international conference assessing sixty years of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights sponsored by the Network of Networks in
Defense of Humanity. Here is our declaration:

We celebrate sixty years of failure. Human rights have been converted
from a noble goal into an instrument of foreign policy used by rich
and powerful nations against the poorest and weakest people of the

In 2008, almost three billion people throughout the world suffer the
most basic privations.

After sixty years of empty human rights rhetoric, we demand that
governments focus their attention on fulfilling the promises of 1948.
We write this document on the parchment of environment, which
everyone shares, and has warned us all to drastically change the ways
in which mass production and consumption take place.

1. The United States is a member of the commonwealth of nations;

2. Benefits accrue to those who cooperate with the global community
   and view other countries as potential partners for the upliftment of

3. Unfortunately, the leadership of the United States Government has
consistently been a disappointment to those of us who value the
tenets and the possibilities for humankind embodied in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights;

4. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms the rights of
self-determination, the rights of women, the indigenous, and the
rights of association, expression, and resistance to protect and
preserve these precious rights;

5. Poverty, severe income inequality on one hand and greed and
over-consumption by a few, on the other hand, deny for far too many
on the planet universal application of the Universal Declaration;

6. Climate change, unsustainable agriculture, unbridled militarism,
terrorism with impunity, nuclear proliferation represent threats to
our planet and threats to humankind;

7. The current implosion of the engine of U.S. imperialism and global
capitalism contains the seeds of a new global order in which the
rights of humankind and the Universal Declaration can find universal

8. The incoming Barack Obama Administration has a unique opportunity
to make a clean break with the policies of the past, including
installation of dictatorships, campaigns of invasion, terror, and
slander, torture, and occupation, and can build bridges of peace and
justice with dignity and respect to Africa, Latin America, and

9. Therefore, we call on the President-elect to put the United States
   on a clear course of global fraternity by

* a) invoking the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

* b) rejecting torture and terror and demonstrating this by closing
     and vacating Guantanamo and ceding to Cuba its rightful patrimony,

* c) ending the U.S. embargo,

* d) releasing the Cuban Five, and

* e) extraditing Luis Posada Cariles;

10. While this list is not exhaustive, it represents a much-needed
    down payment on hope and change.

11. We will disseminate this document through our respective

Signed: Saul Landau, Cindy Sheehan, Nelson Valdes, Cynthia McKinney


International Workshop on Human Rights Ends in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, Dec 11 (acn) The President of the Cuban National Assembly 
(Parliament), Ricardo Alarcon, closed on Wednesday evening an 
International Workshop titled “The Universal Declaration of Human 
Rights: 60 Years Later,” that took place at Havana’s Convention Center 
with the participation of over one hundred foreign personalities and 
representatives of the Cuban civil society.

During his closing remarks, Alarcon said that Cuba advocates respect and 
observance of all human rights.

“This is an issue that can be analyzed from diverse perspectives but the 
most important element is that all the principles and objectives of the 
Declaration can be perceived as an integral unit without marginalizing 
any nation,” the Cuban official added.

Alarcon criticized Washington for its attempts to legitimize torture and 
demanded the immediate release of Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, 
Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero, five Cuban 
antiterrorist fighters – internationally known as the Cuban Five - 
unjustly held for over 10 years in US prisons.

Meanwhile, also during the closing session of the event, American Saul 
Landau read a declaration signed by the US delegates to the meeting that 
include activist Cindy Sheehan and former US presidential candidate for 
the Green Party Cynthia McKinney, among others.

The document criticizes the use by rich nations of the issue of human 
rights as an instrument of their foreign policies to blackmail and 
pressure underdeveloped countries.

The text urges US President-elect Barack Obama to reject torture and 
terrorism and to shut down the detention center located on the US naval 
base in the illegally occupied Cuban territory of Guantanamo. It also 
urged Obama to return this territory to Cuba.

In addition, the declaration calls for the end of the US financial, 
trade and economic blockade of Cuba and for the immediate release of the 
Cuban Five.

Messages of support were received during the event from world 
personalities such as Nobel laureates Adolfo Perez Esquivel and Jose 
Saramago, among others.

The International Workshop “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: 
60 Years Later” was presided over by Cuban Culture Minister Abel Prieto.

     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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