By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 26 – Every year since 1991 the United Nations General Assembly has said that Cuba is right to demand the US end its now nearly half century blockade. The full body is set to vote on the same resolution on Wednesday, Oct. 28.
The policy rebuff has fallen on deaf ears despite a heavily lopsided vote each year.
In 2008, a record 185 countries of the 192 UN member states voted to tell Washington it should end its unilateral blockade of the Cuban economy. Only Israel and the tiny Palau supported the US position to continue the status quo.
On Sept. 14, President Obama followed his predecessors by extending the blockade for another year. He has also maintained the prohibition on travel by US citizens to Cuba without special US Treasury Department permission.
While never accomplishing its goal to bring the Revolution to its knees, the blockade has served a dual purpose. On the one hand it has kept Cuba from reaching anywhere near its development potential. On the other, it provides a catch all excuse for shortages and poor management in the nation’s economy.
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez was quoted Monday by the Cuban press as saying Cuba is willing to normalize relations with the United States and hold a respectful dialogue between equals, “without any shadow over our independence, sovereignty and self-determination.”