New York - UN Renews Calls for U.S. to End Cuba Embargo
New York - The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to renew a call for the United States to end its embargo on Cuba and for governments to declare the measure illegal.
The 193-nation assembly voted 186-2 to adopt a resolution calling for UN members to meet their obligations under the UN Charter and international law that reaffirm freedom of trade and navigation.
The United States and Israel voted against and three countries abstained, including Marshall Islands and Micronesia.
A similar resolution was adopted with 187 votes last year when the assembly had 192 members.
The resolution urged “once again all states that have and continue to apply such laws and measures (U.S. embargo) to take the necessary steps to repeal or invalidate them as soon as possible in accordance with their legal regime.”
The U.S. embargo was boosted in 1996 by the Helms-Burton Act with the U.S. Congress demanding compliance by all companies with regard to trade and navigation with Cuba.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, who addressed the assembly last year on the same issue, said the U.S. embargo has directly cost Cuba more than 700 billion dollars in economic development.
“Years after the act, the world is still discussing it because it violated the sovereignty of nations,” Rodriguez said.
He described the act as having the impact of an “act of genocide.”
The object of the blockade is to weaken the lives of Cubans and to cause hunger. The U.S. has never hidden the fact that it wants regime change in Cuba.”
Washington has always ignored UN resolutions demanding the lifting of the embargo. A U.S. representative told the assembly that the resolution aimed at “confusing and obscuring” the real situation between Havana and Washington.
The Obama administration has tried to improve relations with Havana by allowing more visits, exchange of information and humanitarian assistance, the U.S. representative said.
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