A Cuban diplomat chants slogans during the "Jailed for What?" campaign, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, Oct. 16, 2018. A United States-sponsored campaign aimed at criticizing the human rights situation in Cuba on Tuesday encountered strong and fierce protest at the UN. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- A United States sponsored campaign aimed to criticize the human rights situation in Cuba on Tuesday encountered strong and fierce protest at the United Nations (UN).
"Cuba yes! blockade no!" chanted the participants in Spanish at the "Jailed for What?" campaign in a rhythmic voice with hands pounding the desks and feet stamping on the floor while U.S. envoy to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Kelley Currie, Secretary-General of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro and others were speaking.
The United States launched the campaign in a bid to hold Cuba's authorities accountable for human rights violations in the ECOSOC chamber -- UN's central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development.
The in-door protest, launched mostly by Cuban and some other Spanish-speaking diplomats, lasted for more than half an hour.
The moderator finally gave up the Q&A sessions due to the unexpected roaring protest rarely seen in the UN history.
In a statement issued after the event, Cuban UN ambassador Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo told reporters that "the United States lacks the morals to give lessons, much less in this matter."
"The event, as we had foreseen, was a political comedy staged on false arguments," she added.
"It is part of the actions aimed at subverting the legitimately established constitutional order and of the interventionist agenda that has gained renewed momentum under the current administration, whose fascist, racist and xenophobic ideas are a matter of grave concern in the international community," she added.
"This is an attack not only on a sovereign state, but also on the principles of multilateralism and the foundational bases of the United Nations," said the ambassador.
Sacha Sergio Llorenti Soliz, Bolivian ambassador to the UN, also criticized the United States, saying whenever this country does not need the UN, it could withdraw from its deals or agreements, but uses UN's premises whenever it thinks it is useful.
The United States has said in a statement that it estimates there are 130 political prisoners held by the Cuban government. That might be the major reason behind the campaign.
Earlier, the Cuban UN ambassador has demanded that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cancel the event.
She said the United States had itself violated human rights, especially in the use of torture, detention and "arbitrary deprivation of liberty" at its Guantanamo military base, where terrorism suspects have been held for years. She also pointed to the U.S. immigrant policies that have separated parents and children.
The Cuban ambassador on Monday told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, that the United States "lacks any moral authority to judge Cuba, when its current administration drives an agenda of supremacist, racist and xenophobic ideas."
The UN General Assembly has, since 1992, passed a resolution every year condemning the ongoing impact of the embargo against Cuba and declaring it in violation of the UN Charter and of international law.