UN condemns US embargo on Cuba

UNITED NATIONS - The UN General Assembly adopted by a thumping majority a new resolution condemning the commercial, economic and financial embargo that the United States has imposed on Cuba for the past 50 years.
The resolution was passed by a vote of 188-3 with two abstentions, 193-member Assembly President Vuk Jeremic announced at the end of a nearly three-hour debate.
Israel and Palau joined the United States in opposition, while Micronesia and the Marshall Islands abstained. The General Assembly has passed a similar resolution every year since 1992.
Before the vote, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez slammed the “persistent tightening” of the embargo during the first four years of the Barack Obama administration.
“It is an act of aggression and a permanent danger to the stability of the nation,” he said.
Speaking for the United States, senior State Department official Ronald Godard accused Havana of seeking “to identify an external scapegoat for the island’s economic problems when they are principally caused by the economic policies that Cuban government has pursued for the past half century.”
The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean had previously joined together to call for the end of the embargo as contrary to the principles of the UN Charter and international law.
The US delegate, Ronald Godard, said that his country, like others, determined the conduct of its economic relationships with other States based on its best interest. With regards to Cuba, the priority of President Obama’s administration was to empower Cubans to determine their own future. Today’s resolution, he said, sought to “identify an external scapegoat” for Cuba’s economic problems, where in fact they were caused by the country’s policies over the last half a century.
Irrespective of US policy, it was “unrealistic” to expect Cuba to thrive unless it opened its monopolies, respected international property rights and allowed unfettered access to the Internet, among other things, the representative added.

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