NGO urges U.S. to condemn d’Escoto’s “divisive and politicized abuse of mandate”
Geneva, June 23 — As the Geneva-based non-governmental organization UN Watch warned last week, controversial ex-Sandinista Miguel d’Escoto is already abusing his new mandate as adviser to the UN Human Rights Council to promote divisive politics, pledging today on Colombian TV to use his UN podium specifically to target the U.S., which he called a “monster,” and Israel.
“A man who has eagerly sided with international criminals such as Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Sudan’s Al-Bashir has no credibility on human rights, and embodies precisely the inverted morality and debased political culture that currently reigns at the UN Human Rights Council, which just this week added Col. Qaddafi’s Libya as a member,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.
“We continue to urge the U.S. government to make clear its objection to d’Escoto’s appointment, especially after today’s outburst, in which he openly confired his intention to breach UN principles of objectivity and non-selectivity,” said Neuer.
Spanish news agency EFE reported today that d’Escoto told Colombian’s Channel 12 TV that he will prioritize denouncing the U.S. – Colombian military base agreement before the council. Click here for English summary and here for Spanish original.
According to D’Escoto, America’s “foreign bases” in Colombia “constitute a violation of the human rights” of Colombians and neighboring countries.
According to D’Escoto, Nicarauga “already knows the monster from within,” referring to the U.S. use of a Honduran base in its fight against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua from 1979 to 1990.
D’Escoto also pledged as another priority to attack Israel over the May 31 flotilla incident, when violent Jihadists seeking martyrdom, members of the radical Turkish IHH group, deliberately provoked a confrontation with the Israeli navy.
D’Escoto was suspended by the Vatican in the 1980s together with two other priests involved in the Sandinista revolution, Ernesto and Fernando Cardenal. During a visit to Central America, Pope John Paul II publicly reprimanded him for his political activities.
In 1999, then Archbishop of Managua, Cardinal Miguel Obando Bravo, criticized those priests who became involved with the Sandinistas and abandoned their priestly ministry for politics. He said the priests never denounced the injustices that took place at that time
UN Watch exective director Hillel Neuer said the US should repeat what Alejandro Wolff, Deputy Ambassador to Susan Rice, U.S. representative at the UN, declared on September 13, 2009: that Mr. d’Escoto “has repeatedly abused his position to pursue his personal agenda, and in doing so he diminishes the office and harms the General Assembly. He is doing the United Nations a disservice by dividing the membership at a time when he should be a unifying force” (Source: Click here for Washington Times article, September 13, 2009.)
When D’Escoto served recently as President of the General Assembly, his appointees as senior advisers included anti-American guru Noam Chomsky, Qaddafi ally Ramsey Clark, and Hamas sympathizer Richard Falk.
In September 2009, Brockmann designated Cuban dictator Fidel Castro a “World Hero of Solidarity.”
Mr. d’Escoto has singled out the United States for criticizing Iran’s nuclear agenda, and also for allegedly triggering the global credit crisis with its “moral and ethical failure.”
He says Washington uses its influence to unfairly dictate U.N. priorities, and accused the United States and other industrialized nations of starving the world with their hunger for natural resources such as oil.
According to a Washington Times report, many diplomats say Mr. d’Escoto ran the 192-member world body based on his own passions, convening meetings to denounce Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip and last summer’s coup in Honduras.
As The New Republic reported, d’Escoto sided with Sudan’s president Bashir after he was indicted for genocide:
Take a March showing the Nicaraguan priest and onetime Sandinista put on after returning from a tour through Asia and Europe, during which he had cozied up to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and defended Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir against Darfur-related war crimes charges. Back in New York and pressed by reporters about such controversial stands, he scoffed at Washington’s demonization of Ahmadinejad, given its “canonization of the worst of dictators,” like Marcos and Pinochet. He blamed the United States for undermining the United Nations in the run-up to the Iraq war. He suggested that the Bashir indictment was racist and tied it (and, if his furrowed brow and hand-waving were any indication, the Darfur carnage itself) to the White House. “Who first raised the issue of genocide?” he said. “Bush. George W. Bush. That should tell you quite a bit already.”
On September 17, 2008, D’Escoto embraced President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after the Iranian leader delivered a strongly anti-Israel and anti-Zionist speech to the UN General Assembly. In response, Professor Gabriela Shalev, Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, called D’Escoto an “Israel hater.”
Two month later, the Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized D’Escoto after he said that Israel is “crucifying” Palestinians, which the Center said was an anti-Semitic analogy to the crucifixion of Jesus.
The UNHRC Advisory Committee that d’Escoto joins is currently headed by former Moroccan diplomat Halima Warzazi. On September 1, 1988, she personally blocked a UN motion that would have censured Saddam Hussein for gassing the Kurds of Halabja. (See 1988 “No action” motion.) The vice-chair is Jean Ziegler, a former Swiss socialist politician who in 1989, as reported in Time magazine, helped create the “Moammar Qaddafi Human Rights Prize.”