HRW's Credibility Seen from Cuba
August 19, 2011
At the end of July, Human Rights Watch (HRW) was news in Cuba again. The
non-governmental organization questioned the Obama administration for
not legally prosecuting George W. Bush and other high officials
associated with him. The crime? War crimes and torture carried out
under his command in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
What did "our" media do?
The Cuban press reported on that news as if nothing had ever before been
mentioned about HRW here.
Nevertheless only one year ago this same organization was news in Cuba
after the presentation of a report (A New Castro, the Same Cuba.
Political Prisoners in the Post-Fidel Era. November 2009) decrying an
increase in repression against opponents of the Raul Castro government.
In response to the report, the official Granma newspaper (of November
19, 2009) published an article by Juan Diego Nusa Peñalver denying the
statements by HRW. Moreover, the paper went on the offense in its own
"Like this, turning to science fiction [referring to HRW], and with its
eternal disguise of a non-governmental organization…"
"HRW, with the genuflecting of Jose Miguel Vivanco as its director, is
the doer of evil against all that smells of independence…"
"The subordination of HRW to Yankee politics is of such a nature…"
"The United States cannot break willpower by way of pressure, not even
with the servile collaboration of organizations like HRW.
"HRW knows, despite its apparent dependence on Yankee imperial policies
I'm not putting my hands in the fire for HRW for the simple reason that
I'm not that familiar with it; but it seems to be anything but an
organization that genuflects, given the manner in which it faces and
questions the most abhorrent individuals and institutions (including the
CIA) of the most powerful empire in the world.
And if it's not "pro-Yankee," the sole argument wielded by the
spokespersons of the Cuban regime falls on its face, strengthening HRW's
report claiming repression against the dissidents.
It's important to note that since 2009 there have occurred very
favorable events in the human rights environment here, such as the
release of those arrested during the "Black Spring" crackdown (2003).
Notwithstanding, the legal, police, political, and mental scaffolding
that led to those regrettable acts remain intact.
Thus there is nothing to prevent another round-up of opposition members.
That's why, and because I find it more credible now, I'll keep my eye
out for future HRW reports.