UN assembly condemns US embargo on Cuba, for 28th time

Elias Hubbard
November 8, 2019

The only nations that voted against the measure on Thursday were the US, Israel and Brazil, which under President Jair Bolsonaro has switched positions on this issue, Efe news reported.

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has once again overwhelmingly condemned the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, with 187 of 193 member states approving a non-binding resolution to that effect. For the first time, Brazil, which is led by an ultra-conservative pro-U.S. president, joined the United States and Israel in voting to continue it. Ukraine, which is a focus of the US presidential impeachment inquiry, abstained for a second consecutive year and was joined by Colombia.

Only the ambassadors of the US, Israel and Brazil voted in favor of the embargo.

Maintaining its tradition would have changed nothing to the ties with the United States, a long-time ally.

"Each year we reiterate our call on both countries to find common ground so that the entire worldwide community can move on from this impasse, and each year little has been done", said the representative of the Caribbean nation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

"Like all nations, we get to choose which countries we trade with". This is our sovereign right.

The document dubbed "Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Embargo Imposed by the United States of America Against Cuba" passed by an overwhelming majority of 187 states voting in favour. "This is our sovereign right", Kelly Craft, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, said prior to the vote.

"Just this past October, human rights defender Jose Ferrer and other advocates were arrested on fabricated charges". Washington later enforced a trade and economic embargo on Havana.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez speaking at the United Nations General Assembly during a vote the US-imposed on Cuba on November 7, 2019. "It is a flagrant, massive and systematic violation of human rights, it qualifies as an act of genocide. there is not one single Cuban family who has not suffered consequences of this".

He said what Cuba calls the USA "blockade has caused incalculable humanitarian damages" and amounts to a major human rights violation.

North Korean U.N. Ambassador Kim Song denounced the blockade, calling it "a crime against humanity".

For the second year, Moldova did not vote.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who spoke before the vote, said it was time to "put an end to this imperialist madness". In 2017, the 193-member General Assembly adopted the Cuban-sponsored resolution by a vote of 191-2, with Israel joining the U.S. in voting "no".

In 2017, the USA returned to voting against the Cuban-sponsored General Assembly resolution on ending the U.S. embargo on Cuba after the Obama administration abstained in 2016, a first for the United States in 25 years.

After the vote, Craft read a statement to reporters but did not take questions.

"You know, the ugliest part of today, with this annual affair in the General Assembly, that people can peddle this fiction that the Cuban regime is powerless". Craft continued, "They could most certainly help the people there that are sick by allowing their physicians to heal the people in their own country and to allow for freedom of expression".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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