UPDATE: The United Nations has voted 187 in favor, 3 against (US, Israel, Palau), and 2 abstentions (Micronesia, Marshall Islands) to condemn the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba.
The United Nations General Assembly will vote on a resolution whichcondemns the U.S embargo against Cuba on Wednesday, October 28th, forthe 18th year in a row. According to a CBS news report written afterthe 2008 U.N vote, “The U.S. embargo has cost Cuba $230 million a yearin foreign investment and caused the country more than $93 billion ineconomic damage since its inception, according to Cuban officials.”
Cubans and the rest of the world had hoped that President Obama would bring a swift change to U.S. policy toward Cuba. But, earlier in October, by signing a renewal of the Trading With the Enemy Act, the President took ownership of the embargo. Tomorrow's vote condemns Obama’s Cuba policy.
Last year, the embargo resolution was adopted by a margin of 185-3. The three “no” votes were cast by the United States, Israel and Palau. Why does the United States insist upon enforcing a failed Cold War-era policy that harms U.S. interests? Our closest allies oppose the embargo, along with the whole Western Hemisphere.
The embargo does not hurt Fidel Castro. Rather, this embargo only hurts the Cuban people. The cost of food and basic necessities for Cubans increases because of the embargo. The Cuban health care system lacks necessary medicine and equipment primarily due to embargo prohibitions.
For an administration so in tune with the international community, today’s vote should be a wake up call. Most foreign policy decisions are not this easy. Rarely does the world agree with near unanimous consent.
Heed the world’s advice and fulfill your campaign promise to repair our reputation in the world. Look back at your votes in the Senate, and remember what you said in your campaign: “without pre-conditions for the liberty of the Cuban people.” The embargo is a root cause for the suffering of the Cuban people; the international community realizes this. Will you?