Cuba Wins Vote at the UN but…

UN once again calls on the USA to lift its embargo against Cuba

United Nations General Assembly. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — For the twenty-second consecutive year, the UN General Assembly urged the United States today to lift its more than half century embargo against Cuba, reported dpa news.

The vote rejecting the embargo was approved by 188 votes in favor and only two against – United States and Israel, and with the abstention of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands.

However, the resolution has no mechanism for enforcement or sanctions on the United States if it ignores the call.

“The US policy against Cuba suffers total isolation and is discredited the world over and has no ethical or legal support. This is demonstrated by more than 180 votes in the General Assembly, speeches by dozens of heads of state and government in the general debate and arguments from Member States and international organizations outlined in the report of the UN Secretary General,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla told the full Assembly .

According to Cuban government estimates the blockade, which took effect in 1962, has caused losses to the Cuban economy of over a trillion US dollars.

No one expects the United States to comply with the resolution, since after 21 previous calls Washington ignored the UN request.

37 thoughts on “Cuba Wins Vote at the UN but…

  • IC,
    Judging from your tone, I’fd have to think you havent read much of Bakunin, Kropotkin, Bookchin , Chomsky or any other of the leading anarchist writers and have a rather twisted view of what aarchism represents.
    Are you dismissing the thinking and writings of these people whom I follow as well ?

    Anarchism is based on direct democracy unlike any government we’ve yet to see on the planet as yet.
    Anarchists believe that all government inevitability becomes self-preserving, corrupt and then totalitarian and this is evident in the U.S. and Cuba and most countries on the planet.

  • Grow up in Cuba as I did and you’d sing a different tune?

    as for the rest….an anarchist eh? Well I guess nothing else need be said.

  • Thank you.

  • The ONLY concession that Cuba could make that would have the U.S government end its War On The People Of Cuba is the reinstating of feral capitalism .
    The U.S supported apartheid South Africa, Batista and just about every dictatorship that held countless political prisoners , which never held free elections nor had a free lress/media .
    This support was nearly unconditional as long as these governments maintained a capitalist economy and anti-socialist ( economic democracy) foreign and domestic policies .
    I would recommend that you read the introduction to “Killing Hope” ( the author once worked for your employers at the State Department) to grasp an understanding of this historic fact but it is also fact that you, on the far right are incapable of reading anything factual that puts the lie to what you say you believe .

  • Fascists states are ruled from the top down and are totally undemocratic.
    Socialism and communism cannot exist except in a bottom-up democratic form .
    No state run by a Moscow-oriented Communist Pary was ever communist since none of them was run in a bottom-up worker controlled democratic fashion but rather always from a Leninist form of cadres who subsequently became corrupt, self-preserving and totalitarian .
    As before, I would suggest you take the contents of your post to any serious university and present it to any professor of either economics or political science for validation
    and be prepared to be seriously embarrassed

  • By comparing conditions in relatively poo Cuba to the wealthy U.S. you totally negate any worth your post might have had.
    Compare the life all Cubans lead to the lives led by the poor in capitalist countries of equal resources and you then might have some validity in your posts.
    Secondly and like State Department pimp Moses Patterson, you fail to even mention the fact that the most powerful nation on Erath is waging an economic war on the island designed specifically to make life for every Cuban so difficult that would overthrow their revolution..
    This alone throws out anything you have to say about poverty and hardships in Cuba.
    You and Moses are analogous to a thug who vandalizes and trashes the house of a neighbor and runs to the community to complain about the unsightly condition of that neighbors house..
    I never said Cuba was a paradise and would be a fool to do so given the effects of the U.S. war on the society.
    In the world today millions of children die of hunger and sleep in the streets and have done so for decades under their capitalist systems which have been forced upon them by the foreign policy interventions of the U.S..
    Do note that like Moses and as a supporter of both the totalitarian capitalist economic system and totalitarian oligarchic government of the United States you are a solid supporter of dictatorships and have absolutely no right to point fingers at Cuba for being one.
    As an anarchist ( sorry that you’d have to do a great deal of reading to understand what anarchism is) I have no love for the Leninist nature of Cuba’s government nor the near total corruption of ideally democratic Poder Popular but I do have an infinite respect for each nations right to self-determination.

    You on the other hand feel that it is perfectly fine for the imperialist U.S to dictate to weaker nations what their society will be allowed .
    Were you to have lived in Britain’s American colonies , you’d have been on the side of the British .

    Such is your love for colonialism, dictatorships and top-down (totalitarian) forms .

  • In short and I hope this is helpful Roger,
    Since , at least, the 1918 U.S./European invasion of the new Soviet Union , it has been U.S. foreighn policy to prevent the rise of economic democracy wherein the workers run the factories in a democratic fashion and from the bottom up .
    Such systems are called socialist or communist but most Americans have no understanding either of what these two philosophies entail nor, for that matter what democray actually consists of.
    I would recommend reading ” Killing Hope”‘s introduction which is available on line to understand the basis of U.S foreign policy and anything by Paul Street to see how this foreign policy begins at home and affects all citizens of the U.S in a very negative fashion. ,

  • AC,
    Do please pick up and read a copy of Peter Kropotkin’s ” Mutual Aid: A Factor Of Evolution” and have your thoughts confirmed in spades.
    It will clearly show you that Moses has no clue as to the true nature, not only of humans but of all highly successful species.
    The book was written in the early 20th century and is just as valid in its research and conclusions as it was then which attests to the truths it contains.

  • Small “c” communism is based strictly on bottom-up democracy . If you choose to divert from this basic tenet , you’re just making an ill-informed/disinformed attempt at besmirching communism because you’re a totalitarian at heart.
    Face it . You praise capitalism which is the epitome of totalitarianism . Your boss cannot be questioned or unelected
    You pretend that the GOUSA is democratic when it is a de facto oligarchy; an unelected dictatorship of money owned and controlled by the extremely wealthy .
    Your thoughts on what human nature consists of are amygdala- driven and are no more valid than is social Darwinism.
    Try reading Kropotkins’s ” “Mutual Aid: A Factor Of Evolution” to see how amygdala ( danger , threat) driven thinking has obverridden the mutual aid society which was the way of humanity up until the establishment of the state and capitalism which now repress that most noble of human instincts.
    Your thinking as refleted in your post is of the Limbaugh -level and while entertaining, is invalid based on the 200,000 year human experience .

  • It is a source of endless wonder how otherwise intelligent people (I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt) can be taken in by the “Potemkin village” that is the (increasingly sullied) face Cuba shows the world. This implied notion you present of the egalitarian nature of Cuban society is naive at best.

    That wealth is more equally distributed in Cuba is true only to the extent that everyone in Cuba is equally poor! You are also in error in your belief in the Cuban medical system. A system that through ineptitude and lack of resources is simply unable to handle the medical needs of the Cuban people (as Margret Thatcher so famously said [Socialism works] until it runs out of other peoples money)

    Finally, despite your puerile response, Socialism and Fascism are simply two sides of the same coin! However as Castro’s “useful idiot” it is no surprise you are unable to see it. You see my friend, despite your assumptions, I WAS BORN IN CUBA and came to the US as a young adult, along with a million more, who, unable to truly vote in the ballot box, voted with their feet and fled your socialist island paradise. So don’t tell me the realities of Cuban society, I lived them.

    ……ever had “picadillo mad of plantain peels? I didn’t think so, and I don’t recommend it!

  • AC, even the “bridling” of greed is based on the community’s “selfish” desire to live in peace and to assure that the pool of limited resources be equitably rationed among community members. ‘Live and let live’ only works when you do your living inside the privacy of your home. Once your selfish desire to live as you please begins to impinge upon my awareness, I selfishly invoke “bridling”. Friendship and cooperation exist only where there is shared “selfishness”. So you see, even (small c) communism depends on common individual wants and needs. There is simply no ‘communal’ drive in human nature.

  • Moses, I’m not a communist myself, but if possible I would like to see our societies organized in something besides pure greed.

    You could be right on your assessment of the human nature, but I rather take my chances with friendship and cooperation, even if is a lost cause but in my defense, even the most radical of societies rely in cooperation at the community level because most people understand that unbridled greed means a lonely and inane existence.

  • Yes, the eastern block model was fatally flawed from inception but is not the communist ideology the one in fault since it has never been implemented in the first place. If you check your story books, their model was based in something called “war communism” that traded personal freedoms for survival based on sheer need

    Thats starting point is as far as the communist model as it can be, and the fact that it happened in Russia complicates things further (at the moment of the Bolshevik, Russia was a feudal, mostly agrarian state, while Marx thought his communism could only emerge in an industrialized capitalist nation).

    The interesting point here is the feudal nature of the pre Bolshevik Russia. Their population lived under serfdom for centuries under autocratic rule – leaders included, so is unreasonable to expect that they would successfully reverse the tradition and get it right at the first try.

    The fact that the Bolshevik Russia was under siege didn’t help either, but even their leader at the moment knew that what they had was a temporary solution to an emergency situation and he started to slowly correct the situation, but he died before it could get anywhere and a reactionary took power.

    You keep insisting on the same, but Marxism is not a form of government is simply a critique of capitalism. Marx simply stated the underlying unfairness, the concentration of capital and the cyclic crisis as endemic to the system itself. Fee free to add historic materialism to the mix and thats what a Marxist is.

    Any additional baggage is just cold war propaganda, and as all propaganda, devoid of intrinsic meaning. You can pick the meaning you want, but is going to be hard to discuss an topic if everyone assign a different meaning to a word.

  • I truly do not understand the need for a trade embargo against Cuba, my apologies as a US citizen.

  • Technically, US policy supports the lifting of the embargo. The difference lies in under what conditions. The 188 countries voted to end the embargo unilaterally. The US, by the act of Congress which codified the embargo into law, voted to end the embargo under specified conditions. Those conditions are roughly the absence of the Castros, the setting of open and democratic elections, legalization of independent media and the release of political prisoners. Which of these conditions gives you the heartburn John. Are you against the release of political prisoners or an independent media? Do you fear open elections in Cuba or do you hope that the Castros rule Cuba forever? On this last requirement, time alone will do the dirty work. After that only three conditions remain. Which one of these do you hate the most? Why?

  • Petty insults aside, if you are willing to stand by your final comment that communism has never existed, then by definition the world you seek is a world that has never existed. You are tilting a windmills John. The world of your dreams has never existed for good reason. Not because of capitalist resistance but because the mores of (small c) communism are antithetical to human nature outside the family and perhaps small circles of strangers. Humans, by celestial design, are selfish and vain. These two traits are locked into our DNA, as well a few other nasty ones, and only a system which takes advantage of our self-actualizing nature will thrive. So far, the best we have come up with is capitalism.

  • IC,
    I did not say that Cuba was any more a democracy than is the U.S. in either the governmental form or the economy.
    It is a fact that the wealth of Cuba is distributed in a far more egalitarian form than is the wealth of the U.S. where some 80% of all wealth is concentrated in the top 10% .
    No one goes without healthcare in Cuba.
    40 million Ameicans have no health care coverage and there are similar comparisons to be made in food security and .education when discussing apples for apples.
    Cuba has never had a communist system it is Leninist at best and is leading from the top rather than from the bottom up as communism and socialism must be to earn those names.
    Further, Fascist and communist are terms on opposite ends of the political spectrum and there is no apostrophe in Castro’s as you used it.
    Had you been educated in Cuba you’d likely know all these things and not embarrass yourself as you did.

  • Small “c;” communism is a democratic system of both government and economies run from the bottom up by the workers .
    Capital “C” Communism societies are run by Communist Parties who are run from the top-down and who are no more communist than the Democratic Party represents democracy.
    Try claiming that the Soviets, Chinese, Cubans were or are communist in any university economics or philosophy class and see what happens .
    See my response to Moses Patterson above
    and save your ignorance for the brainless around you.

  • Mr. Ill-Informed,
    It is common knowledge to any serious student of either political genres, economics and especially history that among the first things done by Lenin and Trotsky was the abolishment of the soviets: democratic , bottom-up workers councils upon which economic democracy would have been based under communism .
    While it was most convenient for Lenin, Trotsky and more so for Stalin to claim that the totalitarian government and economic systems were communist, the fact that they were run in a top-down fashion totally belies the communist label.
    Of course it is also convenient for imperialist shills like you to also claim that the murderous totalitarian state forms practiced by Stalin et al was what communism is so as to besmirch true democratic communism.
    Any serious scholar can differentiate between communism and totalitarian forms.
    To write what you have indicates one of two things: either you don’t know what communism is or you are being disingenuous (lying) which is most likely given your history here.
    Of course if you meant that what uninformed , misinformed and disinformed people think Communism ( capital C and meaning societies led by a Communist Party) is , then of course (small c) communism has never worked.
    But that would be because actual communism has never existed and anyone well-versed in economic and philosophies knows that.
    As do you.

  • “I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”
    – Johannes Kepler

  • I understand the Marxist concept whereby the socialist phase, under the dictatorship of the proletariate, is supposed to transition toward the utopian communist phase. In that strict sense, the USSR never achieved that transition to the final phase.

    There lies the point that the Marxists miss: the USSR ( & China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, & etc) all failed to evolve toward the utopian communist state because the ideology is fatally flawed. It’s not because they didn’t do Marxisms/socialism (or whatever you want to call it) correctly. They all failed because Marxism is a failure. It doesn’t work in the real world. No amount of tweaking or rectification or updating the model will change the fact the fundamental theories are bullshit.

    As for the Nazis and the other Fascists, you need to understand that Fascism is not the polar opposite of socialism. It’s socialism’s twisted sister, a rival left-wing collectivist big state ideology. That’s why the Nazis were indeed “nationalist socialists” and how Mussolini came to Fascism via the Italian Socialist party.

    Suppose Fidel Castro rose to power in 1929 instead of 1959. Do you have any doubt he would have been a Fascist? Of course he would. His goal was total power and the ideology du jour was his means.

  • Yet, technically it wasn’t a communist country. The hint is in the $%#@%$ name Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republic. Also, Marxist != Communist, otherwise you won’t need the word itself. For starters, Marx was first and foremost a critic of the wild capitalism of the days of the industrial revolution and most of his analysis is still relevant today to a certain point. The irony is that lots of scholars in the far right side of the political spectrum understand the system and agree with Marx basic conclusions and are literally Marxists.

    As for a true Scotsman fallacy, thats not the case here. Regardless of how they called themselves, their form of government did not show virtually any characteristic of what communism was supposed to be. I hate invoke Godwin’s law, but the NAZI party was a damn good example of the same: no matter that they called themselves National Socialists, they were in fact Fascists.

  • You write “The Soviet Union was not communist.” Really? It was according to the Soviets. But maybe you know better. That may be one of the reasons why Communism has never worked. The folks who support it can’t decide on what it is.

  • You present a textbook example of the classic “no true Scotsman” rhetorical fallacy. Sadly, that kind of intellectual dishonestly is far to common in university political science departments these days.

    The USSR was founded by Marxists, run by a Communist Party, and was designed exactly how Lenin & Stalin (both of whom considered themselves Marxists) wanted it. But in your fantasy world, it’s not “Communist” because it lacked some special condition never envisioned by Marx, Lenin or Stalin.

    You must be one of those fools who insist, “Next time we’ll get it right!” How many millions more will have to die in the gulags while you perfect your utopian system?

  • “In order to have the electorate’s views considered requires a democracy of some kind. An un-elected dictatorship of [] does not listen to the electorate at all”.
    what a perfectly encapsulated description of the Castro fascist regime. The Castro’s have held power and “reigned” longer than queen Victoria in the 19th century, governing by their whims and foistering their failed communist dictates on the Cuban people. So you will excuse me if I think your understanding of democracy to be a bit stilted.

  • You are laboring under the misapprehension that either the elected officials of the GOUSA or their bosses in high finance give two shits about what you think or the signatures you gather
    Unless , of course , you’ve kicked in a few million towards the Democratic or Republican campaigns/candidates.
    See, oligarchies do not work that way. In order to have the electorate’s views considered requires a democracy of some kind.
    An unelected dictatorship of money does not listen to the electorate at all and what most people consider a democracy is the five minutes they spend in the voting booth at each election extravaganza.

  • When 99% of the world disagrees with you, it’s stupid and meaningless ?
    Perhaps it’s your views that are stupid ad meaningless.

  • SFB,
    The Soviet Union was not communist. The Soviet Union was a state run economy and and like the government was also run from the top down in contracention of all that bottom-up communism and socialism.
    You should spend a bit of time learning the distinction between economic democracy and totalitarianism.
    Getting your historical “facts” from the “Black Book Of Communism” will earn you a failing grade in any university :

  • If the embargo were not effective , the U.S would drop it and win praise from the civilized world .
    Cuba’s socialist economy, as badly corrupted as it has become due to the conditions imposed still remains the threat of a good example around the world and thus a target for capitalist hostility.
    As said, it has been U.S. foreign policy for 100 years to prevent the rise of economic democracy which would be deadly to the now .0001% very ,very, very wealthy who run the government of the U.S.

  • Thank you for that pithy post.
    You are right on every point.

  • Still going to Cuba without a license can get hefty fines and jail terms, ships docking in Cuba still can’t anchor in the US for 6 months, the US stills fine foreign companies doing business with Cuba (including banning their CEOs and family from entering US soil), all Cuban transactions in US dollars still can be seized, banks caught doing so are still been fined, they still can’t get credit from US and they still ranked as high risk for international lenders in part from the issues with US.

    No, is not just in name, is still quite alive and well and so embedded in legalese that is virtually impossible to remove in a foreseeable future (thats it, unless regime change happens in Cuba) regardless of whether is justified, effective or even legal (restricting freedom of travel to US citizens is a wartime-only prerogative)

  • Sign the White House Petition to End the Cuban Embargo and share with your friends and networks: Thanks,
    – Drew

  • Pathetic, shameless and pitiful, are the only way of describing Mr. Ron Goddard head of the United States delegation to the UN baseless, childish argument for his continuing support of the embargo/blockade against Cuba.
    Dull, lack of eloquence, Mr. Goddard was able to enlist the unconditional support of Israel, the US 6 billion/year stipend and middle east henchmen, largest land thief, human displacer, jailer of 1.3 million Palestinians and the butcher of Sabra and Shatila in another dirty job. Three economic, cultural and politically insignificant miniscule pacific islands on the US payroll, abstained in shame.
    Still, like any highly paid attorney hired to defend a heinous crime caught on camera with millions of eyewitnesses, DNA footprint, paper trail, these US State venal professionals, who have specialized in writing bogus speeches and lies to justify invasions, assassinations of heads of state, drones or massive international spying, are willing to take the mike at the podium at the UN and lie through their teeth. Yet, we are usually referred to Goebels or Spink as liars?
    Cuba may have to suffer this crime for years to come, but nothing will be able to erase it from history as it was with Valeriano Weyler, Ariel Sharon or Pinochet.

  • The tens of millions of people murdered by the Soviet State offer stark testimony against your fatuous praise for so-called “democratic economy”. Marxism is the most destructive, murderous and inhuman ideology ever conceived.

    By the way, the UN also banned weapons trade with a North Korea but Cuba violated those resolutions. It’s rather hypocritical to invoke the authority of the UN while hiding banned missiles and jets under sacks of sugar.

  • It is important to note that the US embargo has existed essentially in name only for the last 5-6 years. It is a hollow shell of what it once was. Keep in mind:

    1) The US people have now become the biggest economic supporter of the Cuban economy providing the lion’s share of $6.1 Billion in remittances directly to the Cuban people plus another $2.2 Billion in travel expenditures. Second place is Venezuela providing just over $4 Billion in oil as payment for all the Cuban doctors and educators there.

    2) The US is #2 in international visitors to Cuba with 574,000 licensed US visitors in 2012 and projected to increase to 629,000 in 2013. No one has any info on how many Americans travel to Cuba illegally while the US government looks the other way by not enforcing the travel restrictions.

    3) The US is a major food supplier to Cuba, not only selling Cuba all the food they can buy but all the medicine they can buy as well.

    Yes, it is true you cannot still buy Cuban cigars in the US but realistically Cuba has little else to export.

  • It has been U.S. foreign policy since at least the 1918 invasion of the nascent Soviet Union to prevent or overthrow any attempt at economic democracy in the world.
    The U.S has intervened to this end in well over 50 instances since the end of World War II.
    You’ll note that the end of the Soviet “threat” did not result in the end of the economic war on the people of Cuba since the supposed MILITARY threat ofthe Soviets was never the reason for the U.S. hostility towards the Soviets but rather any chance of a democratic economy ( socialism/communism ) which was and is and always will be the threat to the ver y wealthy who actually control the U.S. government .
    The threat of the good example Cuba’s socialist economy would present if not subject to the trillion dollar costs of the U.S War On the People Of Cuba is what keeps that war going.
    The Cubans constantly release “political” prisoners who are often in the pay of U.S interests and no amount of reforms by the Cuban government will cause an end to U.S. hostilities short of a return to economic totalitarianism ( capitalism).
    The U.S cares nothing about a totalitarian form of government and would embrace Raul Castro as a brother were his government to throw out its socialist ways and revert to feral capitalism once more.
    That’s the reality as I see it..
    I welcome skeptical and critical comments.

  • As stated more eloquently many times before, access to US markets is a privilege and not a right. Americans, through our legislative leaders, have by law determined that under the current Castro leadership in Cuba this privilege shall not be extended to the Castro dictatorship until certain conditions are met. It is a sovereign American right to choose who we do business with. To this end, foreign-owned companies, likewise have a right to do business with Cuba if they choose. But by doing so, they forfeit their privilege to do business in the US. The UN is no place to adjudicate sovereign US issues. For the twenty-second consecutive year, the UN General Assembly held a stupid and meaningless vote.

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