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News > U.S.

Politicized US 'Human Rights' Report Singles Out Political Foes

  • "The policy of this administration is to engage with other governments, regardless of their record, if doing so will further U.S. interests," wrote Pompeo. | Photo: Reuters FILE

Published 13 March 2019

In the report, the U.S. government ignores women's rights violations, avoids mentioning Saudi Arabia's violations and Israeli occupation while attacking political rivals like China, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The United States State Department released a very politicized "human rights report" for 2018, on Wednesday. The document was revealed by the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In the report, the Donald Trump administration ignored key human rights abuses against women, avoided mentioning the Israeli occupation in Golan Heights or the Saudi Prince in the Kashoggi case, as it attacked its political enemies such as China, Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela.

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Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, released a statement on Twitter, responding to the report's release. Rodriguez stated that "the United States has no moral authority to speak about Human Rights." He continued by listing a series of arguments in favor of this reasoning, "It is a global repressor; discriminates against minorities; impoverishes the poor; deprives millions from the right to vote; violates Human Rights of immigrants. Sexual abuses against minors under detention abound," Rodriguez wrote.

The report has been mandated by Congress since 1977. After this year's edition of the report was released, the nonprofit and nongovernmental human rights organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW), pointed out that the government led by Donald Trump, "has cut most mentions of key human rights abuses that disproportionately impact women and girls around the world," from the human rights report released by the U.S. State Department.

According to the HRW, in the report, "the State Department decided to remove analysis of women’s reproductive health and rights, including country-level analysis of maternal mortality and unmet contraceptive needs." According to the organization, Women's rights are in many cases undermined, however, there was aggregate data that was previously included in these reports, and now this lack of reporting "can reveal terrible trends of discrimination and neglect by the state."

On the topic of Israel, the Trump administration changed the usual State Department description of territories from “Israeli-occupied” to “Israeli-controlled.” The move came amid intensified efforts by Israel to win U.S. recognition of its claim to sovereignty over the strategic regions. The Golan Heights- like the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territories that were taken by Israel in the June 1967 Middle East war - are regarded internationally as occupied under a U.N. Security Council resolution passed later that year.

The State Department also addressed the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and put it on the category of human rights abuse by government officials, however, it did not implicate the Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salam, who according to the U.S.'s own Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was likely to have ordered it.

The director for advocacy for the Middle East at Amnesty International U.S., Philippe Nassif, stated after the report was presented by Secretary of State Pompeo, "this statement signals to world leaders including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egypt’s president [Abdel Fatah al-Sissi] that the U.S. doesn’t care about human rights and will forgive or forget even the most atrocious human rights abuses."

Secretary Pompeo wrote on the Preface of the report that "the policy of this administration (headed by Donald Trump) is to engage with other governments, regardless of their record, if doing so will further U.S. interests." And that is people, from a government or out of it,  who are aligned to these means, will find a sympathetic friend and strong supporter in the United States of America.

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During the introduction of the report, on Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo singled out the U.S. political enemies and attacked them, such as China and Nicaragua, other countries are also included in the report, such as Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran. Pompeo declared that China is "in a league of its own when it comes to human rights violations."

These attacks, that single out specific countries are aimed at political enemies of the United States and the Donald Trump administration. For several analysts, the report would give an excuse for further U.S.-backed interventionism in different regions of the country, aiming for political internal intervention in those countries.

As stated by the Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister, "the United States has no moral authority to speak about human rights," as it is one of the most terrifying "global repressor(s)." According to Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza, there is "blueprint for regime change proposed by the U.S." against Venezuela, he tweeted on Wednesday.


Mike Pompeo
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