November 2015        

Lifting the illegal blockade against Cuba: UN echoes universal demand

With the support of 191 of the 193 member-states of the United Nations, the General Assembly voted in a new resolution on the 27th of October for an end to the US blockade against Cuba.
     The initiative—which appeals for an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade on the grounds of respect for the principles of the UN Charter and international law and the sovereign equality of all states and non-interference in their internal affairs—was rejected only by the United States and Israel.
     For the twenty-fourth year in a row the main deliberative forum of the United Nations called categorically for eliminating the blockade, which has caused economic damage to Cuba estimated at $833,755 million (taking into account the depreciation of the US currency against the value of gold); but its full impact on the Cuban people is incalculable.
     The motion reiterates the call to not enact or implement actions contrary to the Charter and international law and recalls concerns about the extraterritorial nature of the US blockade, which is manifested in the application of laws such as the so-called Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act (1996), commonly known as the Helms-Burton Act.
     The text also recalls the world’s clear rejection of the sanctions imposed by the president of the United States, expressed in various forums and resolutions, including those adopted by the General Assembly since 1992.
     The vote took place in a different atmosphere form that of previous years, following the resumption of diplomatic ties between Havana and Washington in July and the recognition by President Barack Obama of the need to remove the blockade. In this sense the initiative welcomes the restoration of ties between Cuba and the United States and the willingness expressed by Obama to work towards lifting the blockade, although it is still fully implemented.

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