(CNSNews.com) – The U.N. Human Rights Council was criticized Wednesday for holding a minute of silence to honor Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a decision that again illustrated the tension between the body’s actions and its professed commitment to upholding human rights around the world.
Chavez, who died Tuesday, was frequently criticized for human rights violations at home, while in the international arena he consistently supported some of the world’s most controversial regimes, including Iran, Syria and Libya under the late Muammar Gaddafi.
Nonetheless when the U.N. General Assembly in New York voted by secret ballot last fall for new members of the Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC), Venezuela won a seat, receiving more votes than the United States or two other nations in the Western group, Germany and Ireland.
In Geneva on Wednesday that support was again evident as a delegate from Cuba – a HRC stalwart although not currently a member due to term limits – led tributes for “Commandante Chavez.”U.N. Human Rights Council members here. This council has little to do with human rights.