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Cuba, China and Russia on Tuesday were elected to the U.N. Human Rights Council — a move that the U.S. branded a “mockery” of the body's intended purpose and as proof that Washington was right to leave the council in 2018.
The three countries, all with a history of authoritarianism and human rights abuses, were elected by the U.N. General Assembly, along with countries including Bolivia, France, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Senegal, Uzbekistan and the United Kingdom.
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Saudi Arabia was on the ballot but failed to drum up enough support to win a seat.
The U.S. left the Geneva-based council in June 2018, with then-U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley describing it as "a protector of human rights abusers, and a cesspool of political bias."
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the elections “only further validate the U.S. decision to withdraw and use other venues and opportunities to protect and promote universal human rights.”
U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft said it “validates [Trump’s] decision to leave that deeply corrupted body.”
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“With China, Russia, Cuba & Venezuela as members, the Council makes a mockery of its intended purpose and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” she said.
Last year, the U.N. General Assembly elected Libya, Sudan and Venezuela to the Council. Craft called the election of Venezuela, a country dogged by poverty and human rights abuses, an “embarrassment.”
The U.S. has sought to push back against human rights abuses in China in particular, bringing attention to Beijing’s persecution of religious minorities in the Xinjiang province and its crackdown against protesters in Hong Kong. It has imposed a number of sanctions on Chinese officials.
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“Our commitments are spelled out clearly in the UN’s Declaration, and in our record of action,” Pompeo said. “The United States is a force for good in the world, and always will be.”
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Meanwhile, the Chinese mission welcomed the move, saying it “sincerely appreciates the strong support from the wide UN membership.”
The communist regime went on to pledge to “work with other members to advance the Council’s work of promoting and protecting human rights.
In July, 53 countries at the UN, led by Cuba, came out in support of China’s national security law – a law that has formed the basis of the crackdown on the people of Hong Kong.
Fox News' Ben Evansky contributed to this report.
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