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19th Time’s the Charm

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The United Nations votes annually on a resolution to condemn the U.S. embargo on Cuba. On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, the General Assembly, like clockwork, voted again, for the 18th time.

Looking back on 18 years of U.N. condemnation in detail might seem like a useless exercise, but if you look at the voting record of countries, a clear trend appears:

  • 1992 – In Favor: 59, Against: 3, Abstained: 71, Absent: 46
  • 1993 – In Favor: 88, Against: 4, Abstained: 57, Absent: 35
  • 1994 – In Favor: 101, Against: 2, Abstained: 48, Absent: 33
  • 1995 – In Favor: 117, Against: 3, Abstained: 38, Absent: 27
  • 1996 – In Favor: 137, Against: 3, Abstained: 25, Absent: 20
  • 1997 – In Favor: 143, Against: 3, Abstained: 17, Absent: 22
  • 1998 – In Favor: 157, Against: 2, Abstained: 12, Absent: 14
  • 1999 – In Favor: 155, Against: 2, Abstained: 8, Absent: 23
  • 2000 – In Favor: 167, Against: 3, Abstained: 4, Absent: 15
  • 2001 – In Favor: 167, Against: 3, Abstained: 3, Absent: 16
  • 2002 – In Favor: 173, Against: 3, Abstained: 4, Absent: 11
  • 2003 – In Favor: 179, Against: 3, Abstained: 2, Absent: 7
  • 2004 – In Favor: 179, Against: 4, Abstained: 7, Absent: 7
  • 2005 – In Favor: 182, Against: 4, Abstained: 1, Absent: 4
  • 2006 – In Favor: 183, Against: 4, Abstained: 1, Absent: 0
  • 2007 – In Favor: 184, Against: 4, Abstained: 1, Absent: 0
  • 2008 – In Favor: 185, Against: 3, Abstained: 2, Absent: 0
  • 2009 – In Favor: 187, Against: 3, Abstained: 2, Absent: 0

The trend can’t be much clearer and if I were to project this trend into the future, it’s but a matter of a few years before the United States is absolutely alone. It seems bad for that to happen on President Obama’s watch, the first U.S. President to receive the Nobel Peace Prize while seated, and the President that campaigned on fixing the United States’ broken international reputation, etc., etc.

But hey, maybe next year will be different.