An overwhelming rejection of the embargo on Cuba at the UN

For the thirtieth time, Cuba won a moral victory this Thursday at the UN, where 185 countries voted in favor of the United States putting an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo in force for 60 years.

Only the United States and Israel voted against this resolution, which had the abstention of Brazil and Ukraine, in which the Havana government requested, in addition to the end of the embargo, the “sovereign equality” of the states, the “no interference in their internal affairs” and “freedom of international trade and navigation”.

Imposed in 1962 at the height of the Cold War by then US President John F. Kennedy, the blockade has been progressively tightened to suffocate the communist regime.

“It has the effect of “a permanent pandemic, of a constant hurricane,” lamented Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez in the UN gallery.

According to the minister, in the first 14 months of the Democratic administration of Joe Biden, the “damages” caused by the blockade rose to 6,364 million dollars and 154,217 million in six decades.

“We do not attribute to the blockade all the difficulties that our country faces today, but whoever denies its very serious effects and does not recognize that it is the main cause of the deprivations, shortages and suffering of Cuban families would be untrue,” he assured, after warning of that “creates the conditions that encourage illegal immigration.”


With the notable absence of the developed countries from the rostrum, despite the fact that they voted in favor of the resolution, the representatives of the South did not skimp on adjectives to brand the embargo as “unjust”, “illegal”, “unacceptable”, “criminal”, “inhuman”, “disproportionate”. Despite this being the thirtieth time that Havana has achieved a victory at the UN, in practice nothing is expected to change, as has been the case since 1992, the first year that Cuba presented a resolution calling for an end to US reprisals since the then leader of the revolution, Fidel Castro, declared the socialist regime in Cuba, a few months before the crisis of the installation of Russian nuclear missiles in the Bay of Pigs.

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Foreign Minister Rodríguez lamented that the embargo “continues to be the central element that defines the policy of the United States towards Cuba.”

The political scientist Christian Sabatini, from the Chatham House analysis center in London, is of the same opinion, who assures that it has not only been “a total failure” of the US policy with Cuba, but that “it shows that the world rejects it.”

But above all, “it obscures the real and legitimate problem of human rights” on the island.

“It isolates the United States” when “a common cause” could be found with many of the countries that year after year give their support to Cuba in the UN “in pursuit of reasonable, positive, constructive changes,” he assures AFP by telephone .

Despite his campaign promises, Biden, who on November 8 is at stake in the mid-term elections for the narrow majority he has in both Houses of Congress, maintains the draconian sanctions imposed by his predecessor in office, the Republican Donald Trump -a few days before the end of his mandate-, with the exception of some changes in terms of visas, travel and remittances to the island.

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To face the ravages of the devastating Hurricane Ian, Havana asked Biden on October 19 to lift the sanctions that depend on him, since the rest could only be done by Congress. Since 2000, food is exempt from the embargo, but Cuba must pay for it in cash

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