Human Rights and
International Democratic Solidarity


International Relations and Human Rights Observatory

September 27, 2020

Latin America before the new nomination of Cuba to the UN Human Rights Council

Outstanding Latin American democratic referents, with a track record in defending human rights, signed a statement promoted by CADAL that expresses «rejection of Cuba's new candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council because it is not representative of democratic aspirations and commitment with the human rights of the region».
Latin America before the new nomination of Cuba to the UN Human Rights Council

The Resolution creating the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in 2006 states that when electing members of the Council, Member States were to take into account the contribution of the candidates to the promotion and protection of human rights and their voluntary pledges and commitments made thereto; and that members elected to the Council shall uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights, fully cooperate with the Council and be reviewed under the universal periodic review mechanism during their term of membership.

Of the 47 Member States of the HRC, 8 belong to Latin America and the Caribbean (GRULAC). Members are elected for three years and eligible for immediate reelection once. Thereon, Cuba had a seat in the HRC four terms: 2007 to 2009; 2010 to 2012; 2014 to 2016; 2017 to 2019; and has already announced its new nomination for the 2021-2023 term. If reelected, Cuba could, in 2023, run for reelection and, if reelected, would have been a member of the HRC 18 of the 20 years that the body has been in existence.

Considering that Cuba is the only Latin American country not to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; having it been documented that Cuba lacks commitment to defending the universal human rights system; considering that they have adopted a one-party regime which has been enshrined in the Constitution since 2019; and there being no signs of a reform to the State policy that criminalizes the rights to freedom of association, assembly, press, speech and political participation; the undersigned express our rejection to the new nomination of Cuba to the UN Human Rights Council on the grounds that such country does not represent the democratic aspirations and international commitment to human rights of the region.

Laura Chinchilla, former President (Costa Rica); Sergio Ramírez, former Vice President (Nicaragua); Sergio Bitar and Mariana Aylwin, former Ministers of Education (Chile);  Soledad Alvear and Ignacio Walker, former Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Chile); Graciela Fernández Meijide, former Minister of Social Development and former Secretary of the National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons (CONADEP) (Argentina); Santiago Cantón, former Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Argentina); Eduardo Ulibarri, former Ambassador to the UN (Costa Rica); Marisol Pérez Tello, former Minister of Justice and Human Rights (Peru); Mariclaire Acosta, former Under Secretary for Human Rights and Democracy of the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (Mexico); Jaime Malamud Goti, jurist and intellectual coauthor of the Trial to the Military Juntas (Argentina); Miguel Alejandro Pizarro Rodríguez, Representative at the National Assembly and Commissioner to the United Nations (Venezuela); Norma Morandini, former National Senator, journalist and human rights activist (Argentina); Rubén Chababo, former Director of the Museum of Memory in Rosario (Argentina); Hugo Machín, journalist and former political prisoner during the military dictatorship (Uruguay); Sergio Fausto, political scientist (Brazil); and Rafael Uzcátegui, human rights activist (Venezuela).