The United Nations office in Geneva, home to its Human Rights Council, is currently showcasing a large photograph of the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara, despite his record of violence, repression, and egregious human rights abuses.
Hillel Neuer, the executive director of U.N. Watch, a watchdog that aims to expose profligacy and human rights failures throughout the organization, tweeted the picture of the photograph on show at the building in Switzerland.
“Giant portrait of the mass murderer Che Guevara now on display at the United Nations in Geneva, home of its ironically-named Human Rights Council,” he wrote.
SHAME: Giant portrait of the mass murderer Che Guevara now on display at the United Nations in Geneva, home of its ironically-named Human Rights Council. pic.twitter.com/M01fCPMpRs
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) February 28, 2019
It is not the first time the U.N. has been accused of glorifying Guevara or other communist tyrants. In 2013, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) included “The Life and Works of Ernesto Che Guevara” into the Memory of the World Register, intended to preserve his works and writings for future generations.
However, the move was opposed by the United States Permanent Representative to UNESCO, David T. Killion, who wrote a letter to the body calling for them to reconsider the move:
Che Guevara is a controversial figure who advocated violence and made no apologies for executing people in the pursuit of revolution. UNESCO should not memorialize the writing nor glorify the memory of a person who advocated, ‘hate as a factor in the struggle, intransigent hatred for the enemy that takes one beyond the natural limitations of a human being and converts one into an effective, violent, selective, cold killing machine. Our soldiers must be like that; a people without hate cannot triumph over a brutal enemy,’ and, ‘If any person has a good word for the previous government that is good enough for me to have him shot.’
In 1964, Guevara addressed the United Nations General Assembly, where he accused the United States of planning to overthrow the Cuban regime as well as other communist governments across Latin American.
“It must tie clearly established, that in the area of the Caribbean,” he said, “maneuvers and preparations for aggression against Cuba are taking place—off the coast of Nicaragua, above all; in Costa Rica, in the Panama Canal Zone, in the Vieques Islands of Puerto Rico, in Florida and possibly in other parts of the territory of the United States.”
“And also, perhaps, in Honduras, Cuban mercenaries are training, as well as mercenaries of other nationalities, with a purpose that cannot be peaceful,” he continued.