I mentioned before that US government officials have the practice when visiting countries that it does not consider allies to give them public lectures on what they must do to improve. While this sounds condescending, it is only so if done selectively. I think it is a practice that should be expanded and every time there is a state visit, the visiting dignitary should take the opportunity to point out all the faults of the host country. Unfortunately, many countries do not seem to want to risk angering the world’s only superpower and thus the US has got used to being the only one giving such lectures.
At Friday’s opening of the US embassy in Havana following the resumption of diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, secretary of state John Kerry lectured the host country on its human rights record. But he may have forgotten that Cuba is not a client state. It has a long history of proudly defying the US and wasn’t going to take this lying down and its foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez took the opportunity to tell him some truths about the US.
Apparently irked at Kerry’s call for “genuine democracy,” Rodriguez said his country had gender and racial equality, free education and healthcare, and didn’t suffer from the flaws of America’s cash-fueled electoral system.
“Cuba is not a place where you can see police brutality … racial discrimination,” he said. “We do not practice torture,” a presumed reference to the U.S. military base at Guantanamo on Cuba’s southeast coast.
That, especially the references to police brutality and torture, must have stung. But US hypocrisy on such gross violations of human rights deserves to be repeatedly pointed out.