UNITED NATIONS, October 31, 2014 – On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly voted for the 23rd year in a row to condemn the United States’ embargo of Cuba. The vote passed at a margin of 188-2 with only the U.S. and Israel voting against it.
The resolutions of the General Assembly are unenforceable and largely symbolic, but the annual vote has given Cuba a global stage to remind the world of the effects of the 42 year old embargo by the United States. After 42 years, many U.S. citizens have demonstrated a marked shift in attitude towards the embargo, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who has voiced support for ending it.
Ronald D. Godard, a senior U.S. adviser for Western Hemisphere affairs defended the U.S. embargo and stated, “the Cuban government uses this annual resolution in an attempt to shift blame for the island’s economic problems away from its own policy failures.”
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki brushed off the vote and stated, “the U.S. has a right to make its own decisions about its economic relations with other countries.” Psaki also stated, “the U.S. doesn’t think this annual U.N. debate does anything to advance a constructive discussion about the issue.”
According to Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla the embargo has cost Cuba over 1.1 trillion since its inception in 1960.