UN again urges US to end Cuban embargo

NEW YORK, United States, October 31, 2007 – The United Nations General Assembly is once again urging the US to end its commercial, economic and financial embargoes against Cuba.

The Assembly yesterday again adopted the resolution with an overwhelming 184 votes in favor. The call was the 16th issued in as many years. Four States – Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau and the US – voted against the resolution, while the Federated States of Micronesia abstained.

The 192-member body also called on States to repeal or invalidate such laws and requested the Secretary-General to report on the matter at the Assembly’s 63rd session.

Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque denounced the long-running blockade imposed on his country, calling it the main obstacle to the development and well-being of the Cuban people, and a “blatant, massive and systematic” violation of their rights.

“Anyone can understand the level of socio-economic development that Cuba would have attained had it not been subjected to this unrelenting and obsessive economic war,” he told delegates.

The US has not only ignored, “with both arrogance and political blindness,” the 15 resolutions adopted by the Assembly calling for the lifting of the blockade, but has over the last year adopted new measures, further tightening the sanctions, he added.

But US delegate Ronald Godard said that “Cuba’s problems derive not from any decision of the United States but from the embargo on freedom that the Cuban regime has imposed on its own people.”

“Now more than ever we invite the member states considering this resolution to reject the arguments of the Cuban government and focus on effecting a transition in Cuba that would restore its people’s fundamental rights,” he added.

The UN’s vote comes days after US President, George W. Bush, reaffirmed the Cuban embargo “as long as the regime maintains its monopoly over the political and economic life of the Cuban people.” And he insisted in a heavily promoted speech that Cuba is on the cusp of “fundamental change.”

“The dissidents of today will be the nation’s leaders tomorrow,” he said. “When freedom finally comes, they will surely remember who stood with them.” (Hardbeatnews.com)