Tuesday, October 26, 2010

U.N. to U.S.: Drop Cuba embargo

For the nineteenth straight year the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) voted to condemn the U.S. for its embargo on Cuba.

Only Israel (with its own issues concerning embargoes) joined the U.S. in opposing the nonbinding resolution that was backed by 187 members earlier today. All Latin American and Caribbean nations on the backed the resolution regardless of the political ideology espoused by their respective country’s leaders.

The measure called for “ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba."

Before the vote took place envoys from the U.S. and Cuba presented their diverging views on the embargo that turned fifty this month:
Introducing the measure, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez dismissed Washington's moves. "Two years after President Obama pledged to seek 'a new beginning with Cuba', facts confirm that nothing has changed," he said…

Saying the embargo was part of a policy to promote human rights in Cuba and did not include humanitarian goods, (U.S. delegate Ronald) Godard said the United States sold $533 million in agricultural products, medical devices, medicine and wood to Cuba in 2009.
As was written in a recent CNN.com article, the detention of a U.S. contractor in Cuba and the possible changes after the Congressional midterm elections next week “may already have cooled what had once appeared to be a warming of relations” between the U.S. and Cuba.

On a related note, the Cuban government introduced on Monday several small business reforms as well as a package of new taxes.

Image- France24 (“A Cuban man reads the "Gaceta Oficial" (Official Gazette) newspaper in Havana. Cuba Monday unveiled rules for broader self-employment which it hopes can pick up slack as the Americas' only communist government lays off half a million state workers over six months.”)
Online Sources- Bloomberg, People’s Daily Online, Xinhua, Washington Post, Reuters, CNN, Americas Quarterly

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