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Posted: July 15, 2012 at 10:00 am   /   by

No, not a funny joke. Rather, a farce. An absurd display. A colossal scam of the first water. Yes, of course, I am talking about the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Background from Moving Picture Institute:

On June 28, MPI founder and Human Rights Foundation(HRF) president Thor Halvorssen witnessed this firsthand.

Thor was scheduled to testify at the U.N. for the campaign to stop Hugo Chavez’s bid to elect Venezuela to a seat on the Human Rights Council.

Right out of the gate, Thor began cataloguing the Venezuelan government’s numerous human rights violations. Allowing Venezuela onto the council, he said, would not only be a shame and embarrassment, but would also serve to validate authoritarian governments like that of Cuba.

Needless to say, his speech was met with strong protest.

Thor writes in the Huffington Post, “No sooner had I mentioned the word ‘Cuba’ in the context of human rights violations than the Cuban delegation began to create a scene, complete with banging their fists on the table and kicking over a ch

air, to force the council president to interrupt my speech on a point of order.”

The China, Russia, and Pakistan delegations joined in the tirade, demanding he be silenced. Thor’s speech was then immediately cut off by the Human Rights Council president.

Time and time again, the U.N. allows tyrannical states a platform for their own agendas. As Thor witnessed, even the council specifically designed to protect human rights forbids the condemnation or even questioning of known human rights violators.

Unless you are already completely on board with the understanding that the United Nations is a colossal waste of time and money, a den of pretentious hypocrisy, and a danger to the fabric of truth itself, I am going to insist that you watch this entire video. Yes, it’s dumb and irritating. But it is one example among many of why an international body such as this cannot work so long as most of its members are unfree nations and despotisms. If it were a chorus of democracies with a few despotisms, that might work. But a chorus of unfree nations, with a smaller number of true representative democracies chiming in once in a while, is a recipe for global cacophony.


On June 28, 2012, Human Rights Foundation (HRF) joined the campaign organized by the Geneva-based human rights group, U.N. Watch, to stop Venezuela from obtaining a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. In this video, HRF president Thor Halvorssen addresses the UNHRC and the opponents of human rights revealed their intolerance and their fear of being exposed.

“My name is Thor Halvorssen and I am from Venezuela. In 2004, my mother was shot by the security forces of the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez.

Through the Human Rights Foundation, which I founded and direct, I have carefully monitored the Venezuelan state and have established that its current government is among Latin America’s worst human rights violators.

In Venezuela, exercising free speech is fraught with risks. Political dissent is criminalized. Property is capriciously and unlawfully seized. Opposition politicians are disqualified from elections thanks to false accusations. Journalists are harassed and media critical of the government is simply shut down. Judges are fired and even sent to prison when the president dislikes their rulings. More than 150,000 people have been killed in Venezuela since Lieutenant Colonel Chávez was elected president in 1999. Add to this the more than 5,000 who have died in the country’s disgraceful prisons, many of them awaiting trial and therefore possibly innocent of the charges that put them behind bars in the first place. No such murder rate had ever existed in Venezuela, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. The government has proven that it is incapable of protecting the most basic human right–the right to life.

While all of this has taken place this council has remained silent.

Madam President, despite all of this, Venezuela is now seeking election to this council. When it was founded in 2006 the council promised that only those countries that “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights” would be the only ones elected. To elect Venezuela would shame and embarrass this council and would allow Venezuela to shield its horrendous record of abuse and equally problematically, to validate other authoritarian governments such as Syria, Iran and one that sits shamefully on this council: Cuba. Electing Venezuela would deny this council the chance to shine a light into the darkness that envelops Venezuela and it will blunt actions to protect 29 millions Venezuelans who are at the mercy [of a malicious and incompetent government].”

These are the people that are going to determine whether you and I get to have guns or not?

The worst human rights violators get to sit on a human rights council and hector people in order to prevent them from pointing out the absurd hypocrisy of it all . . .

And you are paying for this with your tax money.

That didn’t make the joke any funnier, did it?

Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook

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