This is Cuba’s biggest victory yet. The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted to adopt a resolution condemning US embargo against Cuba. The score – 191:2 in favor of Cuba.
Not surprisingly, the United States voted against this resolution. Initially though, the US had thought of abstaining from voting, as the two countries has renewed diplomatic ties already in July after a gap of more than 54 years. The only other country that supported the US is Israel, which has consistently voted with its ally on the issue.
US officials said they decided to cast a “no” ballot because the text did not fully reflect the spirit of the recent opening between the two former enemies.
The resolution, introduced by Cuba, demanded an end to the embargo, which it refers to as “blockade”. The resolution also calls on all UN members to refrain from interfering in other countries’ internal affairs as well as the freedom of international trade and navigation.
Reacting to the vote, Ambassador Ronald D. Godard said, “If Cuba thinks this exercise will help move things forward in the direction both governments have indicated, it is mistaken. The United States finds it unfortunate the Cuban government has chosen to introduce a resolution nearly identical to those of years past”. Godard is America’s senior area adviser for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
Last year too, the UN had passed a resolution condemning the embargo by a vote of 188 to 2. Once again, the United States and Israel were the only nations to vote against it. Three small Pacific island nations, Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau abstained last year. But since then, all these islands countries have established diplomatic ties with Cuba.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez acknowledged the new relationship with the United States and Obama’s repeated calls to Congress to begin the process of lifting the blockade. But he said “the facts make crystal clear” that the blockade is still being fully and completely applied. “The human damage it has caused is inestimable”, he adds.