Countries with appalling human rights records relished their moments in the spotlight Thursday, lambasting the U.S. for daring to move its Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Here are some of the countries who were allowed to take a swing at the U.S. during the debate on the U.N. General Assembly motion condemning the U.S. move, or who chose to vote against the U.S.
Venezuela, whose government this month banned opposition parties from its 2018 elections, was particularly vocal in its condemnation of the U.S. decision. Despite the country’s dilapidated socialist economy forcing Venezuelans to scavenge food from garbage bags, Venezuela’s representative launched into a tirade against the U.S., declaring itself “alarmed” by Israel’s alleged violations of international law in Palestinian territories.
“Our message to the current admin of U.S. of A is the following: The world is not for sale. The world is not for sale and your threats imperil global piece,” Samuel Moncada said.
Another country known for starving its people to death, North Korea is also one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world while also causing international outrage and instability by aggressively ramping up missile tests as it seeks out a nuclear weapon. But despite itself being both a human rights pariah and under ever-tightening sanctions, North Korea also voted Thursday to censure the U.S.
Delegate Ja Song Nam said the U.S. move was deserving of “global condemnation.” He added that the U.S. and Israel bear “full responsibility” for the consequences of the decision for its “reckless and high-handed” actions.
He also called on Israel and the U.S. to listen to the international community, something North Korea has itself failed to do in regards to its weapons programs despite multiple rounds of international sanctions.
Syria is in a years-long civil war, during which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own civilians. It is also a country where ISIS took hold and secured their de facto capital in Raqqa. Yet despite its appalling human rights state and its wartorn conditions, Syria was another country to line up and take a shot at the U.S.
Syrian Deputy Ambassador Mounzer Mounzer said the move “unmasks their unlimited support for the racist, colonialist, Zionist entity which undermines the rights of the Palestinian people.”
Yemen is currently involved in a bloody civil war as Saudi and Iran-backed militias face-off for control of the country. It has been plagued by airstrikes, famine, and a severe outbreak of cholera. Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed this month by Houthi rebels. Yet, the country’s government found time to sponsor the resolution condemning the U.S.
Yemen’s representative condemned Trump’s decision, declaring it “null and void” and a “blatant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people.” He also called it a “serious threat” to stability and peace in the world.
The communist dictatorship of Cuba commits such flagrant abuses of human rights that its people are often found risking their lives on homemade rafts trying to cross the waters to the United States of America in search of freedom. The Castro regime, via Ambassador Anayansi Rodríguez Camejo, condemned the alleged “serious and flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, of international law and of the relevant UN resolutions” by the U.S. and Israel.
The Turkish government, which has been engaging in an unprecedented crackdown on journalists speaking out against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, took umbrage at Nikki Haley and President Donald Trump’s warning that the U.S. would cut funding to those countries who opposed the U.S. In what would appear to be an astonishing lack of self-awareness, Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, blasted “bullying” from the U.S.
“We were all asked to vote ‘no’ or face the consequences. Some were even threatened with [a] development aid cut. Such an attitude is unacceptable,” he said. “This is bullying and this chamber will not vote to do that.”
Iran has been working to destabilize the Middle East in its push for nuclear weapons, support for Islamic terrorists, and its use of Yemen as a proxy war against Saudi Arabia. But Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo tore into the U.S. and Israel.
He accused Israel of “criminal” practices, and accused the U.S. of having “acted against the will of the international community.”
Yet despite the protests of the above countries, as well as others such as China and the Palestinian leadership, the U.S. was defiant.
“America will put our embassy in Jerusalem, that is what the American people want us to do, and it is the right thing to do,” Haley said. “No vote at the United Nations will make any difference on that, but this vote will make a difference on how Americans look at the U.N. and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the U.N. and this vote will be remembered.”
The motion eventually passed 128-9.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.