Tags: un | cuba | embargo | us

UN Cuba Embargo: General Assembly Votes Against US Ban

Thursday, 31 Oct 2013 06:49 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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For the 22nd consecutive year, the U.N. General Assembly voted to condemn the United States’ embargo against Cuba, with only Israel and the United States voting no.

The U.N. resolution, which can’t be enforced, brought out condemnation of the embargo in the Cuban media, The Associated Press said, with some calling it a “criminal policy.” The embargo affects finance, economic, and commercial policies.

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It was a record 188-2 vote this year, reported the RT blog, with three countries, Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau, abstaining.

“We don't feel that this annual debate in the United Nations does anything to add to or advance a constructive discussion about these issues,” Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, told the AP. “And it also obscures the fact that the United States is a leading supplier of food and humanitarian aid and humanitarian relief to Cuba, and that's something we remain committed to.”

But the AP reported that Cuba’s foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, told the General Assembly, “The economic damages accumulated after half a century as a result of the implementation of the blockade amount to $1.126 trillion.”

The U.S. embargo was put in place in 1960 after Fidel Castro’s administration nationalized U.S. properties on the island, and it was strengthened in 1962.

International dissension with the United State’s decision to hold firm on the embargo was strong during the U.N. debate. Iran called the embargo a “despicable practice” and said it “flouts international law,” Raw Story reported.

“The call of the international community is getting louder and louder, demanding that the US government change its policy toward Cuba,” Wang Min, China’s ambassador, said.

“Our small island poses no threat to the national security of the superpower,” Parrilla said, as reported in a U.N. press release. “Then, why can’t Americans have access to first quality Cuban products or Cuban last generation medicines? Why are their business people losing opportunities?”

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Related stories:

Democracy Advocates Urge Obama to Keep Cuban Trade Ban

Cuban Blogger Sanchez: Lifting Embargo Would Make No Difference

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