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Human rights protect everyone—no matter who—from government abuse and neglect. Yet today a new generation of authoritarian populists is challenging that bedrock principle. They claim to speak for “the people” and treat rights as an impediment to their…
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump argues with CNN's Jim Acosta during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., January 11, 2017.
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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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President Obama is taking a risk in visiting Cuba. He’s right that engagement can create opportunities for change on the island that the old policy of embargo and isolation did not. But unless Obama advocates strongly for political freedoms and human…
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The status quo has allowed the Cuban government to exploit U.S. policy to garner sympathy abroad.

President Obama’s new approach to Cuba diplomacy is a breath of fresh air and a chance to make some real progress on human rights if the U.S. government uses the policy wisely. Some critics contend that President Obama’s decision to re-establish full…
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For decades, the Castro government has been very effective in repressing dissent in Cuba by, among other things, preventing its critics from publishing or broadcasting their views on the island. Yet in recent years the blogosphere has created an outlet…
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By Daniel Wilkinson and Nik Steinberg

In a 1980 interview, Gabriel García Márquez told The New York Times that he had spent three years writing a book about life in Cuba under Fidel Castro. But, he said, "now I realize that the book is so critical that it could be used against Cuba, so I…
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Click. And then silence. It was the sound I dreaded in my calls to Cuba. As I gathered testimony from relatives of political prisoners, I never knew what an abrupt end to the call meant. Had the Cuban intelligence services cut the line, or was it just the…
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How to keep foreign dictators from living large in the U.S.

In sunny Malibu a real estate agent named Neal Baddin helps the playboy son of one of the world's most corrupt leaders buy a $30 million mansion. Teodoro Nguema Obiang lives off money taken from the coffers of Equatorial Guinea, a tiny but oil-rich…
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In a groundbreaking speech at the Newseum on Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reset U.S. policy on Internet freedom, emphasizing the vital need for governments, companies and technology providers to ensure that the World Wide Web is a force…
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The regime should be asked to release political prisoners in exchange for normal relations

Normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba was widely seen as exactly the kind of high-value, low-hanging fruit that would be ideal for a president elected under the banner of "change." But a scathing new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, "New Castro, Same…
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In a crucial vote this week, the Organization of American States could decide whether to lift Cuba's almost 50-year suspension from the key regional body. OAS secretary general José Miguel Insulza wants to bring the issue to a vote as early as June 2 at…
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I met Fidel Castro in Havana in 1995 as part of a human rights delegation and, after six gruelling hours of negotiation, gained his commitment to release six political prisoners. We were hardly the first or last visitors to do so. Jesse Jackson convinced…
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The Bush administration's get out of jail card for torturers

If the Bush administration is still good at anything, it's this: distracting its opponents and seizing little victories from what might have been big defeats. Take the administration's recent efforts to respond to the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v…
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The U.S. stands with Cuba in opposition to the draft resolution establishing a new U.N. Human Rights Council. The parameters of the resolution proposed by Jan Eliasson, president of the General Assembly, were already well-known in the diplomatic…
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Among the many injustices Cubans endure today are restrictions on travel that prevent them from reuniting with family members abroad. These restrictions have torn young children away from their parents, destroyed marriages and kept exiles from visiting…
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NEW YORK -- Few doubt that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights is faltering in its mission. With Libya as its chair, and China, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe among its voting members, it is hardly surprising that many of the world's most flagrant…
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Published in The International Herald Tribune Few doubt that the United Nations Commission on Human Rights is faltering in its mission. With Libya as its chair, and China, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe among its voting members, it is hardly surprising that…