UN Votes to Condemn US Embargo of Cuba

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly voted for the 30th year in a row to condemn the US economic embargo on Cuba. 185 countries voted in favor of the motion with only the US and Israel opposing it and Brazil and Ukraine abstaining.

UN Votes to Condemn US Embargo of Cuba
Image credit: Matthew TenBruggencate / Unsplash

Facts

  • On Thursday, the UN General Assembly voted for the 30th year in a row to condemn the US economic embargo on Cuba. 185 countries voted in favor of the motion with only the US and Israel opposing it and Brazil and Ukraine abstaining.
  • UN General Assembly resolutions are neither binding nor enforceable, but they reflect global perspectives and have given Cuba an annual platform to highlight the isolation of the US in its decades-long efforts to punish the island.
  • The trade embargo was first imposed following the Cuban revolution and has remained largely unchanged, with the decades-old dispute between Havana and Washington showing little sign of detente despite some moments of goodwill.
  • Before the vote, Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez stated that the US has "escalated the siege around the country" since 2019 to inflict "the biggest possible damage on Cuban families." He estimated that the Cuban economy lost $6.35B during the first 14 months of the Biden admin.
  • Tensions between them eased in 2016 as the Obama administration restored relations but former Pres. Trump returned to a hardline approach. The Biden admin. argues that economic penalties are a response to human rights abuses committed during a crackdown on July 2021 protests.
  • US political counselor John Kelley told UN General Assembly after the vote that, while the US condemns Cuba's government, the people of the US donate a "significant amount of humanitarian goods to the Cuban people" and is among Cuba's main trading partners.

Sources: Axios, Washington Post, Reuters, Independent, and Al Jazeera.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by CounterCurrents.  In the name of promoting human rights, the US has blocked the Cuban economy from generating billions of dollars, which is why the entire world voted for this resolution. If the US cared about Cubans and their prosperity, it would open economic relations with Havana just as it does with other countries with poor human rights records.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Boston Globe. The US embargo on Cuba is a reasonable response to one of the most brutal regimes in the world, which has constantly violated human rights. Unlike critics' claims, the embargo doesn't affect Cuba's freedom to trade with the rest of the world nor does it prevent Cuba from importing goods from the US. Cuba's tragedy stems from its dictatorship, not from US trade restrictions.