Daily Archives: September 24, 2008

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and “to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories.”


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,

Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.

(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.

(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.

(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.

(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.

(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.

(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.

(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

Source: UN

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José Steinsleger: La Cuarta Flota, garrote naval

En julio pasado, la Cuarta Flota de Estados Unidos (una de las seis que el Pentágono agrupa bajo cuatro comandos navales) soltó amarras de su base de Mayport (Florida). Sus jefes son los almirantes Gary Roughead (Operaciones Navales de la Armada), Jim Stevenson (comandante de Marina del Comando Sur) y Joseph Kernan, jefe de la flota.

Roughead declaró que la Cuarta Flota “… estará lista en todo momento para todo desafío en la parte sur del hemisferio occidental”. Stevenson precisó que las naves “llegarán hasta el intrincado sistema de ríos de América del Sur, navegando en las ‘aguas marrones’ más que en las tradicionales ‘aguas azules’”.

Kernan (jefe de la Cuarta Flota) matizó las cosas diciendo que sus naves dirigirán las “acciones humanitarias y tareas de cooperación”, entrenando a “nuestros socios” en la navegación y el control de las aguas interiores “… aunque no vamos a ingresar en los ríos sin una autorización explícita y previa del país anfitrión”.

Es decir que con excepción de la tecnología, la geopolítica del Pentágono en nada difiere de la del almirante Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914), relativo al dominio de los mares, cuando Washington ocupó Puerto Rico, Guantánamo y Filipinas, y a Cuba le reconoció la independencia a cambio de “intervenir cuando lo estimase necesario” (Enmienda Platt).

Posteriormente, las cañoneras de Washington tomaron el Canal de Panamá e invadieron Nicaragua, Haití y República Dominicana. Y en 1982, la armada imperial respaldó a los ingleses durante la guerra de Malvinas, ignorando su propia Doctrina Monroe (América para los americanos, 1823) y el Tratado Interamericano de Asistencia Recíproca (TIAR, 1947) que, supuestamente, nos defenderían de “intereses extracontinentales”.

La “inofensiva” Cuarta Flota navega liderada por el portaviones nuclear George Washington. Está equipada con submarinos, fragatas misilísticas, sistemas de defensa área, docenas de aviones bombardeos F-14, lanzadores de misiles como los que arrasaron Irak y Afganistán, y el grupo de comandos de elite SEAL (Sea, Air, Land), en los que el almirante Kernan tuvo destacada actuación en Vietnam, Camboya, Laos, Irak y Afganistán.

La Cuarta Flota cuenta con una base aérea en la ex colonia holandesa de Aruba (frente a Colombia y Venezuela), de donde partieron los helicópteros que en marzo pasado atacaron el campamento de las FARC, en territorio de Ecuador. Por lo demás, no hay de qué inquietarse. La Cuarta Flota dispone de un buque hospital de vanguardia “… en casos de desastre”.

El problema es que la Cuarta Flota requiere de “puertos amigables” en los ríos Orinoco, Amazonas y en la cuenca del Plata. O sea, territorios hidrográficos que, casualmente, pertenecen a estados soberanos como los que encabezan los presidentes Hugo Chávez, Lula da Silva y Cristina Fernández. A esto sumemos que en 2009 el Pentágono deberá desmantelar la base ecuatoriana de Manta (Pacífico ecuatoriano), donde el gobierno de Rafael Correa proyecta construir un gran complejo portuario con miras al intercambio comercial con Asia.

¿Qué justifica semejante despliegue de intimidación naval? ¿Existen en América Latina arsenales nucleares o “grupos terroristas” interesados en atacar a Estados Unidos? Por el contrario, lo que hay son instrumentos apolillados como el Tratado de Tlatelolco (México, 1967), que propone la desnuclearización del continente, y el de Montego Bay (Jamaica, 1982), que establece la Zona Económica Exclusiva a 200 millas náuticas. Acuerdos que Estados Unidos, a más de no haber suscrito, se pasa por el arco de triunfo.

Frente al agresivo despliegue naval del imperio, el gobierno de Chávez entendió que prevenir es curar. Así es que en noviembre próximo, Rusia y Venezuela participarán en maniobras navales en aguas del Caribe, ejercicios en los que estará presente el acorazado nuclear Pedro el Grande, buque insignia de la Armada rusa.

Para el almirante Eduard Baltin, ex comandante de la Flota rusa en el Mar Negro, las maniobras con Venezuela demuestran que Rusia está volviendo a un primer plano internacional con su poderío militar, “… recuperando las posiciones que perdió a finales del siglo pasado”.

Baltin aclaró que las maniobras no están relacionadas con la situación en el Cáucaso, donde los buques de la Cuarta Flota estadunidense llevaron “ayuda humanitaria” a Georgia, algo más lejos que Nueva Orleáns, ciudad totalmente librada a su suerte cuando el huracán Katrina arrasó hasta su último ladrillo.

Stevenson observa que la Cuarta Flota lo es en términos de “organización preventiva”, enviando “la señal correcta incluso a aquellos que no son nuestros mayores partidarios”. Y con el inigualable humor negro de los yanquis, puso el ejemplo de que la Cuarta Flota pudiera ser llamada a tomar acciones si “… el pueblo cubano decidiese rechazar el liderazgo de Raúl Castro y decide fugarse en masa” (sic).

“Si no tenemos la capacidad de rescatar a esa gente, tendremos un nuevo desastre en las manos… Cientos de miles de personas morirán en ultramar”, manifestó el angustiado almirante.

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Arnoldo Kraus: Carta a los miembros de El Colegio Nacional

Con profunda preocupación escribo este artículo. Dudé mucho antes de hacerlo. Dudé de su posible trascendencia y del permiso que supone dirigirme a Ustedes. Cuestioné su pertinencia y cavilé acerca del peso de las palabras. Decidí hacerlo por el impacto de sus voces. Recurro a su hábitat porque el país se desmorona.

La trascendencia no se refiere al impacto del artículo. Se refiere a la obligación que me he impuesto para elevar la voz y reclamar ante el marasmo y el profundo desasosiego que vive la nación, cuya caída, de seguir por ese camino, pronto nos conducirá a un abismo cuyas consecuencias aún no podemos prever.

La dirijo a El Colegio –otra forma de enfocar la trascendencia– por dos razones. Estoy convencido de que la incapacidad de los políticos mexicanos es grosera, execrable e infinita, y porque soy ferviente admirador de las cualidades de la inteligencia, atributo de sobra reconocido en los integrantes de tan dilecto cuerpo académico. Creo que esa característica, la inteligencia, exquisitamente distribuida entre sus miembros y representada en diversos renglones de sus quehaceres académico y artístico es motivo suficiente para suponer que a partir de esa riqueza, México podría volver a ser un país habitable. Escribo un país habitable porque temo que pronto, si no es que ayer, nos demos cuenta de que nuestra casa, nuestra nación, se nos ha escapado de las manos y nosotros con ella.

Las diferentes facetas de los representantes de El Colegio Nacional tienen el vigor que se consigue cuando mentalidades distintas analizan un problema. Ésa es una de las mayores virtudes de esa agrupación: mirar distinto, escuchar diferente, pensar en diversos tonos. La mezcla de inteligencias deviene crítica, reflexión, movimiento y cuestionamiento. Esa suma conlleva compromiso. La situación actual de México es alarmante. El panorama vital de nuestra nación es lúgubre y el mal crece como espuma. Se reproduce sin parar y amenaza la integridad del país.

Esta carta apela, con profundo respeto a esa inteligencia, al análisis y al compromiso de tan versados ciudadanos para cuestionar las políticas previas y actuales de nuestros gobernantes, cuyo hilo conductor ha sido el fracaso, cuya realidad es violencia, pobreza y encono. El resultado, desde la mirada de la pobreza, es, a todas luces, un país en quiebra.

En los rubros económico, educación y social México está en ruina. No se requieren más cadáveres innominados ni más trabajadores migratorios que arriesguen su vida para saber que nuestros gobiernos han hecho todo menos gobernar. Ese panorama, supongo, les permite a los miembros de El Colegio Nacional, discutir con el presidente Felipe Calderón, y, de ser prudente, exigir. No conozco otra instancia a la cual dirigirme. Su fuerza es la suma de sus historias. Su vigor proviene del respeto que la sociedad les brinda. Por eso decidí escribir.

Imposible pensar en resultados más mediocres y atemorizadores que los que ahora vivimos. Imposible escapar de la realidad. No es la serendipia la responsable de la notoria ausencia en las calles de México de nuestros ex presidentes y de la inmensa mayoría de nuestros ex ministros o ex gobernadores. Es otra cosa. Es su temor ante la ciudadanía y la vergüenza frente a la indigerible realidad de la pobreza y de la violencia lo que los mantiene sumidos en sus fortalezas o fuera de México. Ser político y vivir fuera de su país habla mal de ellos.

El permiso que me he dado para dirigir estas líneas a los miembros de El Colegio Nacional mezcla el asiento de un diván con una dosis in crescendo de indignación. El diván suma las querellas contra la clase política, que sexenio tras sexenio ha ahogado a los más pobres y que ahora ha doblado las manos contra el Golem que poco a poco fue sembrando. Un Golem versión México donde el poder ya no lo ejerce el gobierno, sino sus socios –policía, narcotraficantes–, y que día a día es más autónomo y cobra más fuerza. Un Golem tan agresivo como el cáncer más desdiferenciado. La indignación parte del miedo compartido, del cúmulo de asesinatos que no ceja y del sombrío futuro que empaña el porvenir de nuestra nación.

¿Cuándo sabremos que nuestro país se nos escapó de las manos? Nunca en los discursos de los políticos, con frecuencia en el análisis que de nuestra nación se hace en el extranjero, siempre en las calles que recorremos día a día.

* La Jornada

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THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN: Dear Iraqi Friends

To: President Jalal Talabani of Iraq, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashadani

Dear Sirs, I am writing you on a matter of grave importance. It’s hard for me to express to you how deep the economic crisis in America is today. We are discussing a $1 trillion bailout for our troubled banking system. This is a financial 9/11. As Americans lose their homes and sink into debt, they no longer understand why we are spending $1 billion a day to make Iraqis feel more secure in their homes.

For the past two years, there has been a debate in this country over whether to set a deadline for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. It seemed as if the resolution of that debate depended on who won the coming election. That is no longer the case. A deadline is coming. American taxpayers who would not let their money be used to subsidize their own companies — Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch — will not have their tax dollars used to subsidize your endless dithering over which Iraqi community dominates Kirkuk.

Don’t misunderstand me. Many Americans and me are relieved by the way you, the Iraqi people and Army have pulled back from your own brink of self-destruction. I originally launched this war in pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. I was wrong. But it quickly became apparent that Al Qaeda and its allies in Iraq were determined to make America fail in any attempt to build a decent Iraq and tilt the Middle East toward a more democratic track, no matter how many Iraqis had to be killed in the process. This was not the war we came for, but it was the one we found.

Al Qaeda understood that if it could defeat America in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world, that it would resonate throughout the region and put Al Qaeda and its allies in the ascendant. Conversely, we understood that if we could defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq, in collaboration with other Arabs and Muslims, that it would resonate throughout the region and pay dividends. Something very big was at stake here. We have gone a long way toward winning that war.

At the same time, I also came to realize that in helping Iraqis organize elections, we were facilitating the first ever attempt by the people of a modern Arab state to write their own social contract — rather than have one imposed on them by kings, dictators or colonial powers. If Iraqi Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds can forge your own social contract, then some form of a consensual government is possible in the Arab world. If you can’t, it is kings and dictators forever — with all the pathologies that come with that. Something very big is at stake there, too.

It’s not the stakes that have changed. It is the fact that you are now going to have to step up and finish this job. You have presumed an endless American safety net to permit you to endlessly bargain and dicker over who gets what. I’ve been way, way too patient with you. That is over. We bought you time with the surge to reach a formal political settlement and you better use it fast, because it is a rapidly diminishing asset.

You Shiites have got to bring the Sunni tribes and Awakening groups, who fought the war against Al Qaeda of Iraq, into the government and Army. You Kurds have got to find a solution for Kirkuk and accept greater integration into the Iraqi state system, while maintaining your autonomy. You Sunnis in government have got to agree to elections so the newly emergent Sunni tribal and Awakening groups are able to run for office and become “institutionalized” into the Iraqi system.

So pass your election and oil laws, spend some of your oil profits to get Iraqi refugees resettled and institutionalize the recent security gains while you still have a substantial U.S. presence. Read my lips: It will not be there indefinitely — even if McCain wins.

Our ambassador, Ryan Crocker, has told me your problem: Iraqi Shiites are still afraid of the past, Iraqi Sunnis are still afraid of the future and Iraqi Kurds are still afraid of both.

Well, you want to see fear. Look in the eyes of Americans who are seeing their savings wiped out, their companies disappear, their homes foreclosed. We are a different country today. After a decade of the world being afraid of too much American power, it is now going to be treated to a world of too little American power, as we turn inward to get our house back in order.

I still believe a decent outcome in Iraq, if you achieve it, will have long-lasting, positive implications for you and the entire Arab world, although the price has been way too high. I will wait for history for my redemption, but the American people will not. They want nation-building in America now. They will not walk away from Iraq overnight, but they will not stay there in numbers over time. I repeat: Do not misread this moment. God be with you.

George W. Bush

* NY Times

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