The Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — In a slap to the United States, the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution Thursday condemning the American economic embargo of Cuba and rejected proposed U.S. amendments strongly criticizing the lack of human rights in the island country.
Resolutions adopted by the 193-member world body are unenforceable, but they reflect world opinion and the vote has given Cuba an annual stage for the last 27 years to demonstrate the isolation of the United States on the embargo.
It was imposed in 1960 following the revolution led by Fidel Castro and the nationalization of properties belonging to U.S. citizens and corporations, and two years later it was strengthened.
The General Assembly’s vote on the Cuban-sponsored resolution on the “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” was 189-2 with no abstentions. The United States and Israel voted “no” and Moldova and Ukraine did not vote.
In earlier separate votes on the proposed U.S. amendments, Ukraine and Israel were the only countries to join the United States in voting “yes” on all eight measures while the Marshall Islands backed one amendment. Some 114 countries voted against the amendments and about 65 abstained.
The proposed amendments expressed serious concern at the lack of freedom of expression and access to information in Cuba and the prohibition on workers’ right to strike. They called on Cuba to fully grant its citizens “internationally recognized civil, political and economic rights and freedoms,” to establish an independent civil society and to release people detained for exercising their human rights.
Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez called the U.S. embargo “a flagrant, massive and systematic violation of the human rights of Cuban men and women” and denounced what he called the politicized U.S. amendments.Speech