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 miamiherald.com, 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.

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