All 27 EU Member States back UN call to end US-Cuba embargo

All 27 EU Member States back UN call to end US-Cuba embargo
Fecha de publicación: 
3 November 2023
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The UN General Assembly, with the support of all European Union Member States, has issued a resolution calling on the US to end its trade embargo on Cuba.

Only America and Israel opposed the non-binding resolution. Ukraine was the sole country to abstain.

Some 187 countries, including all 27 EU nations, were in favour.

In a speech before the assembly, Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez said the US “blockade prevents Cuba from accessing food, medicines, and technological and medical equipment”.

Washington is holding on to its decades-long trade embargo even while the Communist Cuban dictatorship is suffering under a severe economic crisis.

Rodriguez claimed the embargo “qualifies as a crime of genocide” and said the US aimed to force a regime change in his country.

He added that no other people had faced “such systematic and long-lasting hostility from a superpower, but Cuba will continue to renew itself, and to build a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation”.

After Cuba was taken over by Communists in 1959, the US imposed a trade embargo on the island nation. That has been occasionally relaxed and occasionally tightened.

Under former US president Donald Trump, the country took a hard line against Cuba, which still keeps numerous journalists in prison and which has violently repressed several popular protests in recent years.

In a succinct statement opposing the resolution, US envoy Paul Folmsbee stated that the embargo was intended to advance “human rights and fundamental liberties in Cuba” and that the US granted exceptions for humanitarian reasons.

Folmsbee said his country “stands resolutely” with the Cuban people.

“The United States continues to be a significant source of humanitarian goods to the Cuban people and one of Cuba’s main trading partners,” he continued.

There was sporadic booing in the assembly chamber when he concluded by saying the General Assembly should urge the Cuban Government “to adhere to its human rights obligations and listen to the Cuban people and their aspirations to determine their own future”.

The European Union’s stand regarding the resolution was delivered by Spain. It stated that the embargo had a “damaging impact on the economic situation of the country and negatively affects the living standards of the Cuban people”.

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