UN demands to lift US embargo on Cuba

United Nations calls for US to end over 50-year embargo on Cuba

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

The UN Assembly demanded to lift the US embargo on Cuba on Tuesday, despite US-Cuba diplomatic ties were improved and Barack Obama called on Congress to lift the trade limits.

The General Assembly voted 191 in favor of the resolution - the highest number of votes ever - criticizing the commercial, economic and financial embargo against Cuba. The United States and Israel voted against a non-binding resolution and when the vote number displayed on the screen many state members stood up and applauded.

It is the 24th time that the UN General Assembly has brought up this issue.

The result was a politic success for Cuba, since the embargo by the United States imposed the country economically, commercially and financially since 1960.

"The lifting of the blockade will be the essential element that will give some meaning to the progress achieved over the past few months, in relations between the two countries," said Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

US diplomat Ron Godard addressed that Cuba was "mistaken" if it hopes that the result of the vote will put pressure on US.

"If Cuba thinks this exercise will move things forward in the direction that both governments have indicated they wish, it is mistaken," he said

Since 1992, the UN Assembly has balloted each year to approve the decision of lifting the US embargo over Cuba policy.

Last December 17, Castro and Obama declared that they were improving diplomatic ties, which they failed in 1961 after Castro seized control and established a communist government.

Especially with the reopening of the embassies earlier this summer, the two countries are on the verge of restoring diplomatic ties which have been put off for more than half a century of animosity that ignited following Cuba’s 1959 revolution.

The White House released new guidelines in September to further bring ease regarding trade, travel and investment with Cuba, however, Cuban President Raul Castro told US President Barack Obama, over a phone call, to go even further and completely remove the economic embargo on the communist-ruled island.

This marks one of the very few conversations the two presidents have had in the past, but of which could reveal changes that could allow certain US companies to establish offices in Cuba - develop banking and internet activities and wipe out restrictions on the amount of money that can be taken to the island, according to US officials.

Obama and Castro considered ways to promote the normalisation process, including steps they "can take together and individually," the White House stated.

In a different statement published almost simultaneously in Havana, the Cuban government said that "President Raul Castro stressed the need to deepen the reach [of the new regulations] and to eliminate definitively the blockade policy, for the benefit of both countries."

TRTWorld and agencies