UN Condemns US Embargo on Cuba

UN Condemns US Embargo on CubaUN Condemns US Embargo on Cuba

In the first United Nations vote on a resolution condemning the US embargo against Cuba since the two countries renewed diplomatic ties in July, Cuba scored its biggest victory yet as the General Assembly voted 191-2 to adopt the resolution.

The only drama was how the United States would vote after its Dec. 17 announcement of a rapprochement with Cuba and its renewal of diplomatic relations with Havana in July after a gap of more than 54 years.

The US has voted to uphold its embargo with Cuba despite improved relations with the communist country. The move comes as Washington faces international criticism over the issue, Deutsche Welle reported.

The US has voted against the resolution every year for the past 24 years. There was speculation in the lead-up to this year’s vote that it would abstain, in a clear sign that it was willing to continue mending relations with the communist country.

However, US deputy ambassador, Ronald Godard, made it clear that would not happen when, prior to the vote, he told the assembly Cuba was “mistaken” if it thought this resolution would improve relations between the two countries.

Mending ties

In the end, the US said it voted against the resolution because it did not reflect “the spirit of engagement” between the two governments.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, in an address to the assembly, said lifting the embargo was a necessary step for Havana to achieve normalized relations with Washington.

US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced on December 17 that the two countries would restore diplomatic ties with one another after more than 50 years of frozen relations.

Obama himself has called for the lifting of the embargo, but faces a lack of support from the Republican-dominated Congress.

Washington broke off diplomatic ties with Havana after communist leader Fidel Castro took control of the government in 1961.