The United Nations General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly to condemn the U.S. embargo against Cuba for the 22nd year in a row. The final vote was 188 to 2, with only Israel joining the United States. Just three countries abstained: Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. U.S. envoy Ronald Godard claimed Cuba’s record on human rights justifies the embargo.
Ronald Godard: “The international community cannot be — cannot in good conscience ignore the ease and frequency with which the Cuban regime silences critics, disrupts peaceful assembly, impedes independent journalism and, despite positive reforms, continues to prevent some Cubans from leaving or returning to the island. The Cuban government continues its tactics of politically motivated detentions, harassment and police violence against Cuban citizens.”
Speaking for the Cuban government, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla said the embargo violates international law while hurting the Cuban people.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla: “The blockade is aggressively extraterritorial and a violation of international law, which lacerates the sovereignty of other states. It’s a transgression of the international rules that govern foreign trade and freedom of navigation. The cruel inclusion of medicines and foodstuffs is a violation of national humanitarian law. It is a hostile and unilateral act that should cease unilaterally.”
In his remarks, Parrilla singled out President Obama for tightening financial restrictions on Cuba instead of using his presidential authority to loosen the U.S. grip. Cuba says the embargo has cost it more than $1.1 trillion since President John F. Kennedy imposed it in 1962.