UN Vote on Cuba, the 19th

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For the 19th consecutive year the United Nations General Assembly has voted against the United States’ policy toward Cuba.  This year the vote, occurring October 26, a day or two sooner than expected, was 187 (supporting Cuba’s non-binding resolution condemning the embargo) to 2 (voting against the resolution:  the United States and Israel), with 3 abstaining (Palau, the Marshall Island, Micronesia). See an article on the vote here.

Cuba’s introduction to this year’s resolution states (informal translation): The 50-year economic, commercial, and financial blockade by the United States against Cuba is the expression of a cruel and inhumane policy, devoid of legality and legitimacy, and deliberately designed to cause hunger, disease, and desperation in the Cuban population. Nothing has changed in the course of ten successive North American governments. Nothing essential has changed with the arrival of the new American Government either, established in January of 2009 [the Obama Administration].

It is interesting to note that Israel has no embargo on Cuba. (1) Its citizens travel there without any problem (approximately  5,000 Israelis have traveled to Cuba in 2010, through September, with predictions that Israeli tourist travel to Cuba may double after recent favorable comments about Israel by Cuba’s former president, Fidel Castro). (2) Israel “currently operates the largest citrus plantation in the world in Cuba”. (3) In a response to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ (D-FL) editorial column in support of the U.S. embargo, which appeared recently in USA Today , Milton Sanchez-Parodi, MD (a Cuban-born U.S. citizen with over 20 years of experience working with Cuba enabling humanitarian aid, agricultural sales and improved relations between the United States and Cuba (see Vista Trade Group), commented that “Israel’s President Simon Peres as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week publicly recognized and appreciated Fidel Castro’s gestures and understanding towards Israel, something hardly picked up by U.S. media. Israel has never pressured Cuba in any way.” Click here for Sanchez-Parodi’s comments, and here for Netanyahu story re Fidel Castro.

A U.S. policy designed to isolate Cuba has done exactly the opposite—isolated the United States.

Here is some more reporting on yesterday’s vote: