U.N. ‘DICTATORFEST’

The Washington Times Daily - - World - BY JAMES MOR­RI­SON

The feisty chair­woman of the House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee de­nounced a spe­cial U.N. meet­ing as a “dictatorfest” af­ter she learned that some of the world’s most au­thor­i­tar­ian regimes planned to de­fend Venezuela’s hu­man rights record.

“‘Dictatorfest’ is tak­ing place at the U.N. Hu­man Rights Coun­cil, with all ben­e­fits go­ing to the Venezue­lan regime,” Rep. Ileana Ros-le­hti­nen, Florida Re­pub­li­can, said last week.

The coun­cil met in Geneva on Fri­day and is­sued a re­port that the Venezue­lan gov­ern­ment of leftist Pres­i­dent Hugo Chavez em­braced.

Mrs. Ros-le­hti­nen noted that diplo­mats from China, Cuba, Iran, Myan­mar, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria and Viet­nam were sched­uled to sup­port Venezuela, which was the sub­ject this year of a pe­ri­odic hu­man rights re­view of all 193 mem­bers of the United Na­tions.

“It is out­ra­geous and dan­ger­ous that tyrants con­tinue to hi­jack the Hu­man Rights Coun­cil and other U.N. bod­ies in or­der to pro­tect each other, while con­demn­ing free democ­ra­cies such as the United States and Is­rael,” Mrs. Ros-le­hti­nen said.

The Hu­man Rights Coun­cil has adopted 32 res­o­lu­tions con­demn­ing Is­rael since the United Na­tions cre­ated the 47-mem­ber panel in 2006. That num­ber rep­re­sents 48 per­cent of all of the coun­cil res­o­lu­tions.

Mrs. Ros-le­hti­nen also ac­cused Mr. Chavez of “ruth­lessly” ex­pand­ing his power “at the ex­pense of the fun­da­men­tal free­doms of the Venezue­lan peo­ple.”

Mr. Chavez’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the coun­cil, Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter Temir Por­ras, wel­comed the re­view as a “demon­stra­tion of strength and com­mit­ment to the ob­ser­vance of hu­man rights” in Venezuela.

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