UN General Assembly condemns U.S. Cuba blockade

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For the 19th consecutive year, the United Nations General Assembly has approved a Cuban resolution demanding that the United States "repeal and invalidate" its "economic, commercial, and financial blockade" against Cuba. The blockade is the longest in human history, Cubans say.

The UN vote on Oct. 26 was 187 nations in favor of ending the blockade (similar to last year) and two opposing: Israel and the United States. The Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau abstained, the latter having last year voted against the resolution.

In his address to the Assembly introducing the resolution, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez denounced U.S. policy as a genocidal violation of human rights, condemned under international law. Rodriquez said the U.S. government had failed even to acknowledge Cuban proposals for dialogue.

Cuban spokespersons say U.S. restrictions on Cuban purchases in the United States, restrictions on Cuban imports, denial of Cuba's access to international credit, manipulation of international banking regulations, exclusion of third-nation ships from U.S. ports, and the U.S. travel ban have over 48 years of blockade caused economic losses totaling $751 billion.

According to Prensa Latina news, the overwhelming UN vote "reaffirms principles of sovereign equality among nations, non-intervention and non-interference in other nations' internal affairs, and freedom of international commerce and navigation." The vote served once more to reject the U.S. 1996 Helms Burton law that critics say works to undermine the sovereignty of other nations.

Prior to the vote, at least 15 delegates "virtually pleaded with Washington to change its policy toward Cuba," analyst Jane Franklin reported.

The resolution directs the UN secretary general to prepare a report on U.S. compliance for presentation during the 66th General Assembly session next year, when the matter will be reconsidered.

Foreign Minister Rodriguez pointed out that declarations from multiple international forums and summits have called for the blockade's end, a stand most U.S. citizens agree with. Despite President Barack Obama once having proclaimed "a new beginning with Cuba," last September he renewed the blockade as serving U.S. "national interests." Blockade effects on health care and food availability impinge upon the daily lives of Cubans, Rodriguez said. At issue is Cuban "sovereignty and independence [that] "many generations of Cubans have dedicated the better part of their lives to defending," he said.

The Cuban foreign minister said U.S. policies are "guided still by the logic of Assistant Secretary of State Lester Mallory's memo in 1960 which said: 'The only way to make [Castro] lose internal support is to provoke disillusionment and discouragement by means of economic distress and hardship.'" At that time, Mallory called for "weakening economic life ... with the object of provoking hunger, desperation, and overthrow of the government."

That was half a century ago. As indicated by the latest UN vote, the world thinks it's time for a change.

Photo: USAID IMAGES 

 

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  • Most of the world knows the U.S. as a powerful imperialistic nuclear power and a constant threat to world peace. It shouldn't surprise anyone that the U.S. continues to do all it can to cripple Cuba's economy,and natural disasters in smaller, weaker countries get minimal aid in time of distress.

    At the same time, the U.S. supplies Israel with enormous amounts of military hardware to maintain the morally and legally indefensible blockade of Gaza.

    The U.N. needs to be restructured along more democratic lines, giving the majority of countries control of the organization, and eliminating the 'veto' of the the five larger, more powerful countries-and we need to stop funding expensive, endless wars and occupations that take the lives of young Americans and cause financial and economic havoc at home.

    Posted by Rob Moir, 12/13/2010 1:19pm (4 years ago)

  • Everyone knows what a left wing liberal communist supporter the U.N. is. They need kicked off United States soil. Supporting crazed lunatics like Iran's president Ahmadinejad. He should never be allowed to set foot off a plane in our country.
    When that blockade is lifted should not be untill every Castro in Cuba is dead. Place the blame on Fidel's Facist regime, nothing else.

    Posted by David Taylor, 10/30/2010 7:40pm (4 years ago)

  • parallels

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 10/30/2010 4:07am (4 years ago)

  • Most of the posts summited here so far are a far cry from anthing reasonable.
    The people of the world are more agreed to what Minister Bruno Rodrigez is contending than what these commentators put here,and their collective reasoning,like their number,is much more compelling.
    It is obvious that these commentators have only heard and only believe what the enemies of the Cuban government and the Cuban people want them to hear and believe.
    If they knew the history of the Cuban peoples'fight to gain democracy and independence,they would know of a history which parellels and is similiar,even complementary to the struggle for democracy and national independence in the United States.
    The story of the U.S.'s relationship to Cuba,over the last 100 years,is a story of imperial dominance and crushing the poor there.
    About 115 years ago and more,Jose' Marti' helped establish independence for the whole of North America,Central and South America,including Cuba. It was Spanish colonialism that he fought,and the fruit of his labor was the Cuban people directing humanities' and nature's resources toward the service of people in Cuba,in 1959 with Castro's leadership,the culmination of the 26 July Movement.
    Fidel Castro's history includes his leading a strike of farm workers,when he was thirteen,and working for the poor as a lawyer as a young and extemely talented adult,fighting for the working poor and for democracy in the face of dictators like Fulgencio Batista,supported by the "benevolent" U.S. government.
    It is a shame that the ignorant dominate the commentary of positive stories like this one.
    Where are the communists?

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 10/29/2010 5:57pm (4 years ago)

  • Why should the US start the process of lifting the embargo against Cuba?

    because by gradually lifting the embargo it shifts any blame for current ecomomic issues to the Cuban government.

    Right now its so easy for Cuba to blame the US for all it sorrows. Cuba can easily report looks how cruel the US is to Cubans with the whole world on Cuba's side and only the US and a couple others against Cuba.

    By lifting the embargo, gradually., Cuban start to get a taste of freedom. Right now how would a Cuban know what its like to have choice. IMHO the reason why China was partially forced to allow for a free market is because of Hong Kong.
    Give Cuba but a taste and they will want more.

    Cuban is about 90miles from the US but China is subtly pushing some of its influence in Cuba. China is positioning itself to cover for any situation wheither the US lifts the embargo or not. If the US waits too long China in part will move in like the former USSR did.

    Cuba is not as dependant to the US and you think. The only reason why it would be nice for Cuban's (not the government) to have the embargo lifted is because of shipping costs.

    Don't think that the embargo has hurt Castro's rule it has in fact helped him by given him a rally point.

    Don't think that when the Castro's are gone democratic rule will take over. US choose to abandon Cuba and the Chinese are there now. A better form may develop but I doubt in the form of a pure democratic government.

    Posted by David, 10/29/2010 11:55am (4 years ago)

  • Its clearly a violation of human rights when the citizens of the US can not travel freely to the country that welcomes them!

    Posted by BB, 10/28/2010 6:24pm (4 years ago)

  • I would like to see most attention be given to what is I really going on in Cuba. Most Americans are clueless. Even I was until I went to visit my wife's family recently. In the USA, the land of plently the solution to most problems is to throw money at it. Well in Cuba you can't buy what you don't have. Cuban struggle everyday to get what Americans can get in any town in any general market. Supplies in Cuba are always when available. For example when I went the following items non existent or scarce and unaffordable to most: soap, toothpaste , onion, sugar (ironically), beans, underware, common over the counter medicine like asprin, milk and I'm sure lots of other things. To paint a picture of markets are like in Cuba, imagine the deepest discount store in the poorest town in the US now imagine the town has just raid the store for supplies and food get through a disaster what is left is what you see in the Cuban markets.

    The US at a minimum should start the process of lifting the embargo. I can see no reason why it shouldn't. In the worse case senerio the US can always impose it again.

    In my hubble honest opinion th blame for Cubas current situation 70% the United States for denying Cubans to have what they need and 30% Blame for Cuba's outdate version and approach to its Government.

    Posted by James, 10/28/2010 2:01pm (4 years ago)

  • Why give Castro's military dictatorship an infusion of dollars now when the regime is close to economic collapse? The Castro brothers are scrambling for cash so they can stay in power. The Cuban people seem unable to free themselves from a tyrannical government. Those who spend money in Cuba be it in tourism or capital investment are aiding in keeping the Cuban people subjugated by the communist dictatorship.

    Posted by Juemadre, 10/28/2010 1:38pm (4 years ago)

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