U.N. human rights council expert Virginia Dandan visited Cuba this past week and said she did not meet with any opposition members because “I do not know what you mean by opposition. I honestly do not know who is in opposition.” Cuban dissidents now call her “the expert who does not ask questions.”

As human rights activist John Suarez notes, Ms. Dandan claimed that asking questions about political prisoners were outside of the scope of her mandate. “I am in Cuba with the purpose of observing the activities of international solidarity of the Government.”

No one should be surprised:

  1. Cuba denies real UN experts entry into the country. They will never allow in the experts on freedom of speech, assembly, independence of the judiciary, or arbitrary detention. Instead, every 10 years, to pretend that they are cooperative members of the UNHRC, they let in an expert whom they know will not be critical of the regime in any meaningful way.
  2. In 2007, UN expert Jean Ziegler, a long-time admirer of Castro and Qaddafi, made an overt propaganda visit to Cuba, documented here by UN Watch.
  3. Virginia Dandan does not have a real human rights position. She is the “independent expert on human rights and international solidarity,” one of several anti-Western mandates at the UNHRC created by Cuba. This post was created by the old Commission on Human Rights in 2005; Cuba was the lead sponsor. Co-sponsors included North Korea, Iran, Qaddafi’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Assad’s Syrian Arab Republic, and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. No joke.
  4. We urge UN officials not to praise Cuba for allowing this visit, as Louise Arbour shamefully did in 2008. Instead, the UNHRC and Dandan should be exposed and condemned.

Cuba’s Propaganda Blitz, Thanks to U.N. Human Rights Council

Over the past 10 days, Cuba launched an unprecedented propaganda blitz surrounding Dandan’s visit:

 

Parade for the UN expert:

 

 

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