Monday, February 20, 2006

UNESCO'S Bizarre Hero

I can't/won't lay off the United Nations these days; I become increasingly convinced it is more a cause of so many of the world's problems rather than a solution. Peter Brookes writes in today's New York Post about another UN abomination:

Early this month, in front of 200,000 screaming sup porters in Havana's Revolutionary Square, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro bestowed Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez with UNESCO's 2005 International José Marti Prize for promoting Latin American heritage, liberty and values.
Huh? Chavez? Liberty?
I'm not sure what the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization folks are "partaking" of, in their cushy Paris headquarters, but the notion that Venezuela's caudillo is deserving of an award espousing these ideals (not to mention presented by Castro in Havana) simply boggles the mind.
It might be time for Washington to reconsider its membership in — and its $80 million-plus contribution to — this misguided U.N. agency.

That's $80 million in American taxpayer dollars, part of which is going to reward one of the shining new despots adored by the Left. Makes you feel good, seeing how well-spent our dollars are, huh?

The aged Castro, who by some accounts slurred his way through his speech, praised his island-prison Cuba, his protégé Chavez and Jose Marti and spewed predictable volumes of anti-American bile, calling the U.S. a world menace.
As Papa Castro presented the certificate (and $5,000 in loot) to Venezuela's Fidelito, the crowd cheered wildly, and waved Cuban and Venezuelan flags....In a mind-numbing 21/2 hour speech that only a despot (or, maybe, Bill Clinton) could give, Chavez called the U.S. a "brutal, cynical, murderous empire," promising that "we will do everything to shred it."

Said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.): "It is astonishing and beyond the pale that a man such as Chavez, who poses a very real threat to democracy, not only in Venezuela, but in the entire region, and has engaged in virulent anti-American attacks, was honored by UNESCO."
That's only the half of it. Chavez has seized private property, closed radio and TV stations for anti-government content and jailed critics. He has consolidated single-party rule, stacked the courts with Chavistas and won a 2005 election by stuffing ballot boxes, according to Steve Johnson, a Latin America expert.

Only an amazingly corrupt and amoral institution like the United Nations could see fit to reward leaders whom vow to "shred" member states (where's the UNESCO award for the Iranian president?) while limiting freedom and discourse in their own country.

No offense to the Florida Congresswoman, but she should not be astonished...the United Nations is in the business of supporting leaders like Chavez,
groups like Hamas, and fascist states like Iran in their bid to obtain nuclear weapons. All while joining in on that time-honored fascist salon game of Jew-baiting, of course, held weekly in the General Assembly. And doing it all on the U.S. dime, of course.

If there is to be any hope of world peace, the UN must be moved out of the way; and none too delicately...

Update: Fausta reports that Chavez is joining forces with the Iranians in an economic war against the United States, starting with a combined attempt to undermine the strength of the US dollar. Someone ought to let the Democrats know that America's enemies at least believe in Bush's preemptive warfare doctrine enough to adopt it as their own...


The probligo said...

Here is the "official word...

14-12-2005 4:30 pm President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela will receive the 2005 International José Martí Prize in a ceremony that will take place in Havana (Cuba) on 28 January. The ceremony will coincide with the anniversary of the birth, in 1853, of José Martí the Cuban humanist, writer, translator, diplomat and teacher, who is known as the “champion” of Cuba’s independence. The Martí Prize was created in 1994 by UNESCO’s Executive Board on the initiative of Cuba to honour an individual or institution having contributed to the unity and integration of the countries of Latin American and the Caribbean and to the preservation of their identities, cultural traditions and historical values.

The $5,000 Prize is awarded on the recommendation of a seven-member international jury, which includes Nadine Gordimer, the South African Nobel Prize for Literature laureate. In the past the Prize has been awarded to Mexican sociologist Pablo González Casanova (2003), Ecuadorian painter Oswaldo Guayasamín (1999), and Dominican historian Celsa Albert Bautista (1995).

Now, I do not know why UNESCO might put its name to this, but then I can not explain UNESCO getting into ...

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the murder of reporter Prahlad Goala in the district of Golaghat in Assam (Northern India) on 6 January

30-01-2006 - (Press Release N°2006-07)
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today deplored the death on the 23rd of January of Mahmoud Za’al, journalist for TV Baghdad who was reporting on fighting in the city of Ramadi. He further called for measures to improve the safety of media personnel in Iraq

The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, today condemned the car bomb attack in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, that killed four people including Gebran Tueni, the publisher and editor of the Lebanese newspaper An Nahar, and a press freedom activist, on Monday. Mr Tueni was also a member of the Lebanese parliament.

And so on...

Fausta said...

Thank you for the link!

Don't miss today's WSJ editorial, Sins of Commission at