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Cuba Hails UN Rights Council's Plan to Stop Monitoring Island


The Cuban government is welcoming a decision by the new United Nations human rights watchdog to stop investigating the island nation.

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said Wednesday the U.N. Human Rights Council's decision is a major diplomatic victory for Cuba over the United States. He said the decision signals an end to U.S. influence over the Council.

The Human Rights Council announced Tuesday that it would stop monitoring the rights situations in Cuba and Belarus. The body replaced the U.N. Human Rights Commission last year.

Washington has criticized the Council's decision, and a Cuban-American U.S. congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, says she will introduce legislation that would cut U.S. funding to the U.N. body.

The U.N.'s former rights envoy to Cuba, Christine Chanet, was never able to travel to the island, but expressed concerns about political prisoners, censorship and a suppression of rights there.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.