HAVANA TIMES – The United States and Israel, its unconditional ally, voted again today against a non-binding resolution at the UN General Assembly that condemns the US embargo on Cuba, backed by the rest of the 189-member states. The vote is symbolic and consistently in favor for 27 consecutive years, reported dpa news.
In her government’s defense, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador before the United Nations, said: “Those who support this resolution every year are wrong.” She added: “Our reason for the embargo is and will always be that Cuba denies its citizens basic freedom and rights.”
There are many governments that criticize the lack of human rights and freedom in Cuba, but oppose measures such as the embargo, in part because ordinary citizens are the most affected. For some detractors of the Cuban system, the embargo gives an excuse to the island’s government to cover up its own mistakes and economic inefficiencies.
In 2016, President Barack Obama overturned the traditional NO vote on the resolution by abstaining, with Israel doing the same. The historic decision came after the United States resumed relations with the government of Raul Castro after more than 50 years.
Since he took office in 2017, Donald Trump pushed for a distancing and reversed some of the measures to ease the embargo imposed by his predecessor. The embargo itself can only be lifted by the US Congress.
Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, once again demanded the lifting of the embargo, which he said has caused losses of $933.6 billion dollars (over 58 years) and is presented as the “main obstacle to the development of the country.”
Cuban state media, which followed the live debates and voting in New York, spoke of “a divorce of Donald Trump with the world.”
Since 1992, Cuba has submitted a draft resolution to the UN every year, calling for an end to the embargo that the United States imposed on it in 1960, following the triumph of Fidel Castro’s Revolution, and which was hardened in the 1990s. Support for that resolution has been growing over the years to become almost unanimous.