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2003 Ron Paul Chapter 19
11 February 2003
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Congressional Record Cached
Not linked on Ron Pauls Congressional website.
HON. RON PAUL
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
2003 Ron Paul 19:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I must reluctantly vote against this measure. We can all agree that Libya is a ridiculous choice to head a human rights commission in any civilized organization. The State Department has long listed Libya on its list of states sponsoring terrorism. Libya has shown over the years that it has no respect whatsoever for human rights, when it comes to its dealings with the rest of the world or even its own citizens. Additionally, this election just underscores what I have been saying for years about the United Nations: it is an organization that undermines American sovereignty and consistently works against U.S. interests.
2003 Ron Paul 19:2
The problem with this legislation, however, is that it pretends to be something it is not. It pretends to be simply a condemnation of the elevation of Libya to head the UN Commission on Human Rights. Were that the case I would have voted in favor of the measure.
2003 Ron Paul 19:3
But unfortunately the legislation ventures off course from there. The legislation calls on the president to demand that sanctions against Libya be initiated anew, after they had already been suspended. I do not believe that sanctions have ever hurt a dictator or repressive regime. On the contrary, sanctions against an authoritarian regime only give the leaders a scapegoat for the sufferings of their people — while the leadership itself manages to avoid any hardship. Sanctions do not lead to the defeat of these kinds of regimes, but actually strengthen them.
2003 Ron Paul 19:4
Cuba is an excellent example: the United States has maintained sanctions against that nation for four decades, but its dictator is stronger than ever. The best way to break the hold of dictatorship on a country is to engage and trade with that country. Trade with a repressive regime brings in goods and ideas that undermine the hold of the ruling elites on power. It breaks the monopolization on economic activity that characterizes a closed society and economic system. It weakens dictatorships and it enriches the population.
2003 Ron Paul 19:5
Mr. Speaker, I join my fellow members in condemning Libyas election to chair the UN Human Rights Committee. I do not support sanctions, be they against Libya or any other country.