THE United States stood shamed before the world for the 28th year running on Thursday when the UN general assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn its illegal blockade of Cuba.
Of 193 member states of the United Nations, 187 voted in favour of the resolution demanding an immediate end to the blockade, which is estimated to have cost the socialist country over $130 billion (roughly £100bn) over six decades.
Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro instructed his country to join the US and Israel as the only countries to vote against – making Brazil the first Latin American country to support the blockade for years. Colombia and Ukraine abstained and Moldova didn’t vote.
Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 Plus China organisation of developing countries, Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour said the world regretted the strengthening of the blockade under US President Donald Trump following the “positive steps” of the Barack Obama administration, which made travel to Cuba slightly easier while continuing to aggressively pursue and fine foreign companies that dared to trade with the island.
Ambassadors from the 15-strong Caribbean Community pointed to Cuba’s outstanding record of humanitarian support around the world. Grenadian ambassador Keisha McGuire noted that Cuba had been among the first countries to assist the Bahamas when they were hit by Hurricane Dorian in September, and said the blockade was “not just a punitive act against Cuba but an impediment to Caribbean regional development.”
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the Trump administration was determined to “suffocate Cuba and to increase damage, scarcities and hardships for our people.”