UN General Assembly votes to end U.S. blockade of Cuba, 187 to 2
Los Angeles, CA – On Thursday, November 2, the United Nations General Assembly voted on a resolution that is put forward every year to end the U.S. imposed economic blockade of Cuba. For the 31st year in a row, the resolution was not passed despite the overwhelming majority of the world voting in favor of the resolution. Those in favor of ending the U.S. imposed sanctions were 187 countries, and only two voted against the resolution, the United States and the apartheid state of Israel.
The economic blockade, or embargo, of Cuba has been in place for 63 years. The United States imposed it to punish Cubans for daring to fight and win their liberation in armed struggle against U.S. imperialism during the Cold War era. Cuban guerilla fighters defeated the dictatorship of Fulgencio Bautista and won their right to independence, democracy, and true liberation through a socialist revolution. In 1960, the U.S. attacked Cuba’s revolution with many cruel tactics, one of them being economic warfare.
The intention of the economic blockade is to starve and suffocate Cuba’s economy in order to break the spirit of the Cuban people and pressure them to turn against their own government. The blockade does not allow Cuba to trade with U.S. companies and it prevents other countries from engaging in trade relations with Cuba, if they want to remain in relations with the U.S. Food, medicine, medical equipment, hygienic products, cars, industrial equipment and much more are difficult to import into the country due to the embargo.
The world condemns the blockade and recognizes the cruelty and injustice that Cubans have suffered for more than six decades. In explaining its vote, the UN representative of the United States, Paul Folmsbee said, “We strongly support [Cubans] pursuit of a future with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” and that sanctions are “one set of tools” to accomplish this.
The U.S. has never respected the human rights of oppressed people. On the same day, the U.S. House of Representatives approved $14.3 billion in military aid for Israel's genocide and ethnic cleansing of Gaza despite the recent historic mass protests across the country calling on the end of U.S. aid to Israel.
Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, stated after the UN General Assembly vote that Cubans are deprived of their right to progress, through this “illegal, cruel and inhumane policy.” He also condemned Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and extended his solidarity to the Palestinian people. “These barbaric acts must stop.”
Karina Lopez is a proud Chicana member of Centro Community Service Organization (CSO) in Los Angeles.