How Will the Obama Gov. Vote at the UN on the Cuba Embargo?

By Pilar Montes

Cuba’s 2015 report on the damage caused by the US embargo on the island, in effect since 1962.

HAVANA TIMES — That was the question a journalist put to the Cuban foreign minister during the presentation of the resolution to be discussed again at the UN General Assembly, calling for the lifting of the blockade on Cuba.

As expected, Bruno Rodriguez suggested that the journalist pose the question to US officials.

We are again nearing the discussion of the one item on the General Assembly agenda that has been addressed year after year since 1992, prompting the overwhelming majority of member nations to vote in favor of the lifting of the US embargo, which has been in effect for 53 years now. Last year’s vote was 188 to 2 (the US and Israel).

How will our northern neighbor vote on this occasion, after relations between Washington and Havana have been reestablished and a bilateral commission has been set up to trace the road to normalization?

Political leaders know how to hide behind smiles, but this move will be tough for Obama, as Cuban President Raul Castro is among the 170 heads of State he will have to greet at the gathering.

The US president has criticized the embargo but the truth is that the island continues to be the one target of the Trading with the Enemy Act and sanctions continue to be imposed on banks, companies and businesspeople who deal with Cuba.

A positive gesture from the US State Department would be to abstain during the voting, as the embargo is still in effect. However, the powerful sectors who wish to maintain the restrictions will continue to vote against their elimination and I fear that will ultimately be the United States’ position.

We’ll witness another difficult moment when Pope Francis, who has also severely criticized the blockade on Cuba, addresses UN members during his visit to the United States from September 22 to 27, a visit that will begin with a reception at the Andrews Military Base offered by Barack Obama.

I feel both leaders have a sense of daring in common: one has done what 10 previous US administrations had not dared to do, the other has broken more than one protocol and neglected the etiquette demanded by his position to defend the poor, condemn war and call on the clergy to come out of the church to seek out those in need of help and spiritual counsel.

The Pope does not appear to fear for his life, but law and order officials and security forces in the United States are trembling, as is the FBI, who are to deploy all of their cutting-edge technology to protect this charismatic personality.

According to experts, his visit to the White House and Congress, as well as the mass he will offer in the capital, are not the most dangerous activities.

His New York tour includes a mass at Madison Square Garden, a procession down Central Park, a visit to a school in Harlem, a speech before the UN General Assembly and an address in the historic city of Philadelphia, where he is to offer a mass in an open area where two million people are expected to gather.

He will also deliver a speech in Philadelphia during the World Gathering of Families, a key issue of his pastoral strategy.

15 thoughts on “How Will the Obama Gov. Vote at the UN on the Cuba Embargo?

  • I observe with interest Rich that you claim to be Cuban. Although my home is in Cuba, I make no such claim. You refer to “punishing Cubans, but also punishing our children and grand-children. In my experience – which is reasonably extensive, it is the Castro family regime which by imposing it’s totalitarian communist dictatorship utilising systems including the CDR upon Cubans of three successive generations, which has carried out the punishment.
    Have you read the conditions for lifting the US embargo? Do you agree that Cubans, their children and grand-children would have a better life if those conditions were met?
    I am not supporting the embargo as it has failed, but would love to see the conditions for lifting it adopted.
    As I do not have Cuban grand-children, but do have a Cuban step-daughter and a God-daughter, I have a personal interest in the matter under discussion – as you also claim.
    Do you want to see those children and grand-children continue to live their lives under the conditions which the Castro family regime carefully constructed to ensure their power and control over all Cubans?

  • Old Rich, under his many guises, has been singing the same tune for some time, both here, in the pages of, and on other sites. In his tortured mind Batista and his henchmen are very much alive. His wounds are as deep as those, like my father, who suffered in the prisons and work camps of the Castro regime.

  • No more nonsense about Batista and other deceased people? Let’s just deal with the living.
    So, to return to the Castro family regime and the Communist Party of Cuba, to the CDR, to the plight of the people of Cuba – whether that which is a consequence of the regime or to a lesser degree the US embargo, those challenges are sadly all alive and well.
    There is no one Terry who wishes the people of Cuba to be able to move on than me. To be able to shake off the shackles of the Castros and Socialismo, to have freedom, which under different forms of government and three successive dictatorships has been deliberately prevented for generations.
    You are correct in saying that Cubans have already given their pound of flesh many times over – yet the Castro family regime seeks ever more in their urge to sate their appetite for total power and total control.
    Raul Castro accidentally got it right in July 2013 when he said of Cuba:
    “I have the bitter feeling that we are a society, constantly more instructed but not necessarily more educated.”

  • Just a small point, but for information Batista, Lansky and Luciano are all dead.
    None of those of us who contribute to these pages has suggested approval of the dictatorship in Cuba which preceded the current one.

  • Relax. I share your disgust with any Batista-Lansky-Luciano coalition. Where we likely disagree is my equal disgust with tyrannical family dictatorships. Obviously you support the Castros. How is that a pro-American position? You do realize that the very same Castro whose propaganda you rattled off wanted to drop nuclear bombs on several US citizens killing millions of Americans? By the way, being anti-CASTRO does not mean that I support the Cuban “Mafia” or the bombing of Cubana Flight 455. That’s ridiculous. You are posing a false dichotomy. I hope the embargo is lifted post haste. I encourage the Castros to meet the requirements set forth under Helms-Burton to give Congress no reason to delay.

  • Yes, you certainly have missed something, Carlyle. That was then…this is now. I prefer to live in the present, instead of allowing the past to distort the future. What happened all those years ago is ancient history now and should have no bearing on the Cuba of today, although I know there are still some who can’t shake their vindictive attitudes. Cuba has already given their pound of flesh…many times over. It’s time to move on.

  • An intelligent question, Mr. Moses, and certainly not “silly.”. If the UN is “toothless” it is because five nations have the veto and ten or so military powers can supersede the overall good intentions of the UN. A 188-2 vote in the UN reflects world opinion, which, generally speaking, does not agree with a strong nation punishing masses of innocent people in a much smaller nation to whet the appetites of a self-serving and greedy few. The image of the United States as an imperialist bully once {and continuously} aligned with the Mafia in its Cuban policy is obviously of no concern to the vengeful Batistianos who still thrive, after all these decades, on the vast Castro industry in the United States, which perhaps made a mistake by supporting the Batista-Mafia rule in Cuba beginning in 1952 and, perhaps, made an even larger mistake by allowing the transfer of the Batistiano dictatorship on U. S. soil beginning in 1959. Of course, the 188-2 vote in the UN is dismissed by revengeful zealots, reminiscent of Banana Republics that routinely dismiss majority opinion. And, Moses, don’t pump your chest about how pro-American you are. Teaming with the Mafia, the Bay of Pigs, Cubana Flight 455, the embargo, the theft of Guantanamo Bay, etc., etc., are not exactly pro-American; and as a pro-American I resent the harm a dastardly Cuban policy has done and continues to do to America..That’s what Cuba means to me. Instead of ranting endlessly about Castro, explain in this objective forum why the Batista-Lansky-Luciano dictation of America’s Cuban policy should continue for another six decades or so, punishing Cubans but also punishing our children and grand-children.

  • No, that’s what your vindictive US government has done, and continues to do, out of shear spite. Try leading by example with your democracy. That’s what Canada does, and that’s why Canada is loved the world over.
    Continuing to punish the Cuban people in a vain attempt to provoke change in Cuba is tantamount to tyranny. Why is it not surprising to anyone that the Cuban government takes exception to your country’s insistence on ramming democracy down their throats? THAT is not leadership. It’s an irresponsible excess of power… flexed entirely at the expense of the Cuban people. Perhaps it might be better to simply call the innocent men, women, and children of Cuba… “collateral damage”? I know your government finds that term acceptable too.

  • You are correct Moses, Canada only has a population of some 35 million and is consequently in no position to lead the world.
    Terry speaks of you condoning your government’s ability to act on Cuba’s sovereign matters. Good job that they did when Fidel Castro Ruz was urging the use of nuclear weapons to incinerate the US or have I missed something Terry?
    It is obvious that the US has stuck to its agreement with Kruschev not to launch a military attack on Cuba. If it had done so, it could have crushed the Castro regime. Whether people like it or not, any US President has power that the Castros can only dream about.

  • Well nidal this is new and interesting. You are now disclosing that the Castros must have sold off the fleet of BMWs. That despite wearing his silk ties, Raul Castro is wearing a cheap watch bought on the street. Possibly Fidel Castro has sold off his two island retreat, complete with the swimming pool and guest house. I have actual been passed on the Autopista by a fleet of BMWs and until you corrected me I would have sworn that it was Raul Castro in the second car.
    Do you know whether with this new found humility, the brothers are to forego their share through RAFIN SA of the 27% share in ETECSA, the monopoly telephonic company of Cuba?
    Really nidal, you may fool a couple of people part of the time, BUT !!!
    As for your ridiculous claim that the “Cuban government and people live at the same level more or less.” you quite obviously are either TOTALLY ignorant of the reality of Cuba, suffering hallucinations or both!
    If you cant write sensibly, why bother?

  • Actually, the US may just abstain from the vote because it considers the embargo to have been ineffective.

  • The US leadership role in the world is controversial but indisputable. I like little Canada to our north. But I have no expectations that Canada is willing or prepared to lead. And yes, towards the goal of giving Cubans an opportunity to live free of tyranny, I heartily condone US intervention. That’s what leaders do.

  • But of course, with that statement, you are also therefore condoning your government’s ability to impact on Cuba’s sovereign matters. Do you not see the irony and the arrogant hypocrisy? And please, Moses… don’t give me your spew about America needing to be the guiding light in this world. Each year, the world’s democratic opinion continues to be spoken on behalf of Cuba, but democracy truly means nothing to your government when over-whelming world opinion is continually ignored. The United States of America… a beacon of democratic integrity for all the world to aspire to…. what a load of crap.

  • to start with Cuban government and people live at the same level more or less , you do not see leadership driving around in a million-dollar cars wearing Rolex watches , the good that came from the Castro in healthcare education and welfare of their own people exceeds any of the narrative that might be perceived , this embargo is a cold war leftover in this day and age it have no purpose whatsoever , United States wave the flag of democracy and human rights , I wonder for example where are those principle when it comes to dealing with Saudi Arabia or any of the Gulf countries , at least Syrian president Al Assad is good for the Christians , dictators murderers drug dealers none of that detailed United States from making deals in the past .
    on hope president Obama have all the decking he needs to stop this regretful embargo .

  • Silly question. Lifting the embargo is a question for the US Congress. Of course the US will vote “NO” against a toothless UN resolution that has no impact on US sovereign matters.

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