UN General Assembly Rebukes US Embargo On Cuba
Overwhelmingly, 185 countries on Thursday voted in favour of a non-binding resolution condemning the embargo, with the US and Israel voting against and Brazil and Ukraine abstaining.
It was the 30th time the UN has voted to condemn the US policy, which has been in place for decades.
The United States opposes this resolution, but we stand with the Cuban people and will continue to seek ways to provide meaningful support to them,” US Political Coordinator, John Kelley, told the UNGA on Thursday.
If the United States government was really interested in the welfare, human rights and self-determination of Cubans, it could lift the blockade,” countered Yuri Gala, Cuba’s deputy representative at the UN
US President Barack Obama took considerable steps to ease tensions with Cuba during his time in office, including formally restoring US-Cuba relations and making a “historic” visit to Havana in 2016.
Former US President Donald Trump, however, scrapped such efforts and took a more hardline approach, stepping up sanctions and rolling back steps towards normalisation.
Tensions between Havana and Washington also have escalated over issues such as migration, security, and regional relations in recent months
Ahead of Thursday’s UN vote, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez accused the Biden administration of continuing down a path of “maximum pressure”. Rodriguez said that during Biden’s 14 months in office, the embargo had cost the Cuban economy about $6.35bn.
US representatives countered that economic penalties were a response to human rights abuses by the Cuban government, which cracked down on protests in July 2021 demanding political freedom and better economic conditions.
Cuba has sanctioned nearly 400 people for participation in the protests, giving many lengthy prison sentences.
Havana has pushed back against criticism of its human rights record. “Cuba does not need lessons on democracy and human rights, much less from the United States,” Gala said on Thursday. Continue reading