Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) criticized the Biden administration’s decision to invite envoys from the United Nations to address racism in the U.S.
The story: Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday announced that he has asked United Nations racism and human rights envoys to come to the United States. These envoys, also known as special rapporteurs, would conduct an investigation, gather information on race and discrimination, and report back to the organization.
What he said: Specifically, Blinken said the administration intends to issue a “formal, standing invitation to all U.N. experts who report and advise on thematic human rights issues.”
The U.S. has already contacted the U.N. special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, as well as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on minority issues for an official visit, he said.
“As the President has repeatedly made clear, great nations such as ours do not hide from our shortcomings; they acknowledge them openly and strive to improve with transparency,” Blinken said in a statement. “In so doing, we not only work to set the standard for national responses to these challenges, we also strengthen our democracy, and give new hope and motivation to human rights defenders across the globe.”
Blinken also welcomed the UN Human Rights Council’s adoption of a resolution on Tuesday that to address racism against Africans and people of African descent.
“Responsible nations must not shrink from scrutiny of their human rights record; rather, they should acknowledge it with the intent to improve,” he wrote. “I urge all U.N. member states to join the United States in this effort, and confront the scourge of racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia.”
Rubio’s response: The Republican Senator pointed the United Nations and Blinken to Cuba, which recently saw massive protests. The island has been grappling with shortages of food and medicine throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters said they were demonstrating against a lack of civil liberties as well.
“@SecBlinken instead of asking the @UN to come here & tell us how ‘racist’ America is, why don’t you ask them to go to #Cuba where an evil socialist regime storms into peoples homes, beats the crap out of them & then drags them away?” he asked on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) put forward a resolution in support of the Cuban people “in their demands for freedom and condemning the brutal oppression of the Communist dictatorship in Cuba.”
“For 62 years, the Cuban people have struggled for freedom and human rights under a brutal, repressive dictatorship. On this day, which also coincides with the anniversary of the Tugboat Massacre, we also remember the regime’s decades of malevolence, including the Brothers to the Rescue Shoot-Down, the firing squads, torture, arbitrary arrests, killings, human trafficking, those who fled in makeshift rafts through shark-infested waters, and the many activists who have suffered or perished for simply daring to speak against the regime. The Cuban people will be free, and they will remember those who stood with them,” he said in a statement.
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