More than 41.500 people died in 2020 in the United States, not precisely because of covid-19, they died victims of gunshots. In the middle of the pandemic, 592 mass shootings were recorded in the aforementioned northern country, something like 1,6 armed clashes every day. In 2019 there were 415.
Firearms sales broke a record in 2020, 23 million in less than a year, 64% more than the sales registered in 2019 when more weapons were registered in the hands of American civilians than inhabitants: the ratio was 120,5 weapons for every 100 inhabitants. More than 8 million who bought guns in 2020 did so for the first time (National Shooting Sports Foundation).
To the shame of humanity, it was not only George Floyd who died of suffocation while a policeman pressed his neck with his knee. According to data from Mapping Police Violence, 316 Afro-descendants were shot dead by the United States police, representing 28% of the 1.127 people killed by law enforcement with firearms in 2020.
As a result of such atrocity, hundreds of protests against racism took place in the North American country, leaving a balance of more than 10.000 protesters arrested, among them 117 journalists. According to The Guardian, the police officers beat and pepper sprayed reporters. Instead, only 2% of police officers involved in shootings were charged with a crime.
This flagrant violation of the human rights to life, freedom of expression, due process and non-discrimination based on race or ethnicity was made invisible by the UN Human Rights Council, but it also occurred in the midst of a of the worst pandemics afflicting humanity.
While five American victims of firearms died every hour, 64 died of covid-19 due to the incompetence of a government that, despite calling itself a world power, having large resources and without being financially blocked, ignored the risks from the beginning of the virus giving priority to economic activity over the life of the population. The United States leads the world list of infections and deaths from the coronavirus, so the rights to health and life are seriously violated in the northern country.
William Foege, the former director of the Center for Contagious Diseases in that country, described as a massacre what the US government has unleashed due to its incompetence to contain the virus. For its part, The Washington Post called the government's actions regarding the pandemic "state authorized killings" where "the elderly, factory workers, and African Americans and Hispanic Americans" are deliberately euthanized.
Not even the right to education has been guaranteed. Internet access is essential for educational prosecution in a pandemic. However, in the country with the supposed greatest technological advance in the world (after China), 17 million children live in homes without an internet connection and more than 7 million do not have a computer (according to the 2018 census).
Inequality and therefore poverty and hunger in the United States increased in 2020. More than 50 million people, that is, 17% of the population suffered from food insecurity in 2020, that is, they had nothing to eat, every 1 in 4 children (Feeding America). Let us remember that, in 2019, according to the Census Bureau, 40 million Americans lived in poverty and more than half a million lacked permanent shelter, figures that increased in a pandemic (Reports on the violation of human rights in the United States prepared by the Information Office of the State Council of China).
About 20,5 million Americans lost their jobs during the pandemic and the unemployment rate reached 21,2%. Paradoxically, in less than 12 months, the 614 billionaires of that country increased their wealth by US $ 931.000 million (Forbes) thanks to government policies that were aimed at protecting the stock market. The 50 richest Americans have as much wealth as the 165 million poorest people in the country (Bloomberg).
Not to mention the violation of human rights by the US government to the migrant population. In 2020, 21 people died in immigration custody. Of the 266.000 migrant children detained and separated from their parents or relatives, more than 25.000 have been detained for more than 100 days, 1.000 for more than 1 year, and some have spent more than five years in custody. Several asylum seekers were threatened and forced to sign their own deportation orders, those who refused were drowned, beaten, pepper sprayed and handcuffed to take their fingerprints (Information Office of the State Council of China).
Not satisfied with violating the human rights of their own population, the governments of the United States, through coercive measures, but also with other economic, psychological and political actions framed in unconventional wars, also violate those of all those people that do not align to their interests to the point of incurring crimes against humanity. They try to justify their actions with the alleged violation of human rights in our countries, in addition to the discourse of the failed state, the presence of alleged dictatorial regimes, and more recently with the narrative of terrorism and drug trafficking. Speech that, of course, they spread without the slightest proof.
Despite the multiple calls made by the United Nations requesting the lifting of the so-called “sanctions” during the pandemic, the United States government intensified the financial and economic blockade against Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, to name a few countries.
We do not know what surprises us more, if the shameful, public and notorious double standards of the US governments in matters of human rights or the impudence in not complying with the decisions that have been democratically taken within the UN against coercive measures. How many years have we been voting against the genocidal blockade of the Cuban people? At least since 1992. Have we wondered why the US does not obey the decisions made by the obvious and overwhelming majority of the UN member countries?
These votes, although very important insofar as they show the will of the majority of the countries that are committed to justice, peace and the self-determination of the people, have become a kind of moral judgment that, apparently, has without a care to the country of the north.
We are not doing something right, it is necessary to review the strategy that the countries have advanced against unilateral coercive measures. These votes have not been enough. In our view, what countries should debate and vote in the UN Assembly is, not only to state whether they are in favor or against unilateral coercive measures, but to advance in the creation of a new world economic and political architecture. to prevent the US from "sanctioning", threatening, blocking and subjugating entire peoples to impose its rules, its economic system and seize its wealth. In this regard, we will make proposals in the next installment.