Cuban Exile Foundation Praises UN Vote Against Cuba

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:08 PM EDT

( - The Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) thinks a United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) vote on Tuesday condemning Cuba's human rights record could bode well for keeping Elian Gonzalez in the United States.

CANF President Jorge Mas said in a statement, "At a time when the US argues for the return of Elian Gonzalez to a nation that enslaves its citizens and attempts to crush their will and hopes, this victory should give pause to all those who yet fail to comprehend or accept the nightmare that is Fidel Castro in the Cuban people's long dream to live with freedom and human dignity."

The initiative was introduced by the Czech Republic with co-sponsorship by Poland and passed by a vote of 21 nations in favor, 18 against and 14 abstentions.

Mas also believes that the UN vote shows Fidel Castro as an "aged despot" and a "pariah" before the eyes of the civilized world.

"We hope that this triumph will help to further educate the public, whose eyes are today upon young Elian Gonzalez, as this is what is at the very core of the debate, surrounding his fate, and why it is morally reprehensible that this boy should be returned to Cuba while being deprived of his basic rights. The time has come for all people to demand an end to Castro's dictatorship, so there will be no more Elians," Mas said.

Many Cubans reacted to the United Nations vote on Tuesday by condemning the Czech Republic during a protest march at that country's embassy in Havana.