Today, member states of the United Nations 27th General Assembly (UNGA) voted on the resolution opposing the 60 year-old United States embargo/blockade against Cuba.
The results are in – 187 member states favor ending the illegal U.S. embargo. Three states voted against the resolution and two countries “sat on the fence” in abstention.
Again, the U.S. finds itself isolated at the U.N. because of its illegal embargo. The rightwing governments of Brazil and Israel joined the U.S. in its lonely vote against the resolution. Colombia and Ukraine abstained from voting.
Since 1991, Cuba has presented the resolution to end the ‘Failed U.S. Economic, Commercial and Financial Blockade against Cuba’ to the world at the UN.
On Wednesday as a leadup to the vote, debating members of the UN resolution showed strong support to end the decades-long blockade.
The U.S. embargo affects all sectors of Cuban society and the economy. Not only is it a flagrant attack on human rights and the development of the country, but it also has widespread consequences for the Cuban people in healthcare, access to food, education, and culture.
According to official statistics, the impact of the embargo has caused financial losses of over $4.3 billion US to its economy over the last year.
It is a violation of international law and hinders Cuba’s access to global markets.
It also affects the rest of the world’s rights to trade and commerce because of its extraterritorial nature.
The U.S. blockade against Cuba was strongly condemned by the Community of the Caribbean and Latin American States (Caricom), which argued that it destabilizes not only the region but the entire planet in areas such as health and climate change.
Caricom’s Grenada representative Keisha McGuire said, “Cuba is not threatening anyone, the Caricom supports the Cuban sovereignty, the blockade violates international law and does not allow the integral development of the region.”
Russia’s representative said that the U.S. embargo was, “clearly targeting the governments that go against their interests.”
The U.S. embargo also affects American interests. It denies Americans their rights to travel freely and it crushes American business interests both in the United States and Cuba.
In recent years, 191 member nations have overwhelming supported Cuba’s resolution. Over the past several years, only two countries, the U.S. and Israel, continually singled themselves out by voting against the resolution to remove the embargo.
In 2016, 191 out of 193 member nations repeated their full support for the U.N. resolution but for the first time, the U.S. and Israel abstained from voting. The reason for their abstention was an acknowledgment by the American government that the policy against Cuba had failed to achieve its goals and had only served to further isolate the U.S.
In 2018, support for the resolution against the embargo was overwhelming: Cuba won 189 votes in favor, two against (the United States and Israel, as usual) and no abstentions.
Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez stated on Twitter, “Voices of the world united against the blockade on Cuba. We will continue condemning the cruel and deadly policy and demanding its full and unconditional end.”