UNESCO's Grotesque Embrace of Che Guevara

To endorse the Cuban-Bolivian nomination of Che's papers for UNESCO enrollment, Bokova had to wade through such blathering propaganda as the following excerpts from the nomination form:

Ernesto Che Guevara de la Serna (1928-1967) embodies an outstanding combination of action and ideas forever inscribed in the political thinking of Latin America. ... His contribution to revolutionary action and theory ... enabled him to inject Marxist theory with creative, anti-dogmatic and humanistic elements ... a new emancipatory ideal. ... His works and his ethical symbology are of permanent value to all alternative processes of change that human kind may undertake.

The nomination goes on in this vein for 14 pages. Perhaps we should give Bokova the benefit of the doubt, and suppose that in her general enthusiasm for the Cuban regime she simply didn't bother to wade through this paeon to the totalitarian founder of Cuba's labor camps before endorsing it. Nonetheless, one might wish for a UN cultural organization endowed with at least some hint of a moral compass.

But this is the real world UNESCO, the one that seats the likes of Cuba, Syria, Belarus, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, China and Russia on its executive board, and on top of that seats Syria on its main policy committee dealing with human rights (a committee with the Kafkaesque name of the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations).

To this scene, let us add a note that since UNESCO's General Conference over-rode U.S. objections in 2011 and admitted the Palestinian Authority to full membership, the U.S. government has been required by U.S. law to withhold funding from UNESCO. Regardless of U.S. law, UNESCO has been lobbying Washington for the money, and the Obama administration has been trying to persuade Congress to waive America's own law in order to resume bankrolling UNESCO -- proposing a top-up of more than $233 million in U.S. taxpayer money to this organization. How about sticking to U.S. law, and if UNESCO, from its palatial Paris headquarters, wants to glorify Che Guevara, then let Cuba, Bolivia and their ideologically ruinous cohorts come up with the dough.