Cuba’s Representative to the UN Praises China’s Occupation of Tibet

Ambassadors in Geneva from Venezuela, Nicaragua, Belarus, Pakistan and Cuba. On the far right, the Cuban diplomat Juan Antonio Quintanilla. (X/Juan Antonio Quintanilla)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 2 September 2023 — Cuba’s support will be fundamental to the imminent inspection that the United Nations will carry out in China, which is accused of violating human rights and indoctrinating children in Tibet, under Chinese occupation since 1951. To tip the balance in its favor, Beijing invited a group of ambassadors from allied nations such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Belarus and Pakistan to the region, in addition to the representative of Havana in Geneva, Juan Antonio Quintanilla.

Although the diplomats have been discreet about the visit, Quintanilla has published a thorough summary of the trip on social networks and has spared no praise for the “achievements” for which Tibet should thank Beijing.

On August 10, the UN Human Rights Council demanded a response from China on the arrest of nine Tibetan leaders who denounced the mining of “sacred mountains” and the hunting of protected species, for which they were sentenced to up to 11 years in prison. According to the UN claim, the Chinese government’s silence on the sentences could be attributed to a deliberate attempt to “make the world forget” about the detention of activists, while they face “isolation, year after year.”

The countries that accepted the invitation are close allies of China and it is to be hoped that they will support the Asian country in the face of any accusation in the international rostrum

The Council then informed Beijing that, at the beginning of 2024, it will carry out an inspection of the case and the situation of Tibet, considered by China as an “autonomous region.” For its part, the United States also accused the Asian country of subjecting Tibetan children to “forced assimilation” in state schools, with the purpose of eliminating Tibetan traditions and imposing the Chinese culture.

Beijing’s response was to send a letter to the UN headquarters in Geneva, to which the British agency Reuters had access, in which they invited diplomats who wished to go on a trip to Tibet. The objective: for the UN to understand “China’s policy and practices regarding human rights” through meetings and tours of educational, cultural and religious institutions.

The countries that accepted the invitation are close allies of China, which hopes that they will support the Asian country in the face of any accusation in the international rostrum. Of the members of the delegation, only Quintanilla has offered information about the trip, which began on August 29.

“I thank the Chinese Government for the invitation and the hospitality. Excellent opportunity to appreciate the economic and social development of this region,” the diplomat said in his first message, whose laudatory tone for Beijing marked the rest of his reports.

One of our last activities in Tibet, #China, was to visit the Sera Monastery, in the city of Lhasa. We learned about the preparation of the monks and the facilities that exist to profess the Tibetan religion.

This is another series of photos of Tibetan monks.

Following the agenda planned by the Chinese authorities, Quintanilla and his colleagues claimed to have confirmed “the economic development achieved” in Tibet, “thanks to the support of the Chinese central government.” The ambassador insisted that the situation of education and religious freedom was unbeatable, and that the spiritual values of Tibet – one of the most sacred regions for believers of Buddhism – were “very well preserved and promoted” by the authorities, who respected their transmission “to the new generations.”

As for education, Quintanilla said, after visiting an elementary school in Nyingchi Prefecture, that Beijing maintained a “high commitment” to the training of children in Tibet. He was also in Lhasa, the main city in the region, and guaranteed that both artists and university students were well taken care of.

On Wednesday, the delegation went to the Potala palace, in Lhasa, which was the residence of the Dalai Lama – the highest spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism – until 1959, when Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama, had to go into exile in India after the brutal repression of the Chinese Army against attempts to maintain the independence of Tibet.

The ambassador concluded his trip by commenting that “education is a priority for the Government, while preserving Tibetan culture”

Quintanilla also said that in Potala Buddhists can “profess their religion daily,” a comment he repeated during his meeting with the monks of the Jokhang temple.

The ambassador concluded his trip by commenting that “education is a priority for the Government, while preserving Tibetan culture.” Finally, this Thursday, he met with Ma Zhaoxu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, who addressed the issue of human rights in Tibet during an exchange that Quintanilla found “beneficial.”

The Havana regime is one of Beijing’s staunchest supporters. Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel met in August with his Chinese counterpart in South Africa during the summit of the BRICS group of countries and assured that the relationship of the communist parties of both countries was better than ever.

Translated by Regina Anavy 


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