Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cuban Embargo

UN General Assembly
Demands U.S. Lift Embargo on Cuba
October 29 (RIA Novosti) - The UN General Assembly adopted on Wednesday a resolution demanding the U.S. lift an economic, trade and financial embargo against Cuba.

The resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority of votes in the 192-member world body with 185 states in favor, three against (the United States, Israel and Palau) with Micronesia and the Marshall Islands abstaining.

The draft resolution was introduced by Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque who said before the vote that the U.S. sanctions had been imposed in violation of the international law and became a major obstacle in the socio-economic development of Cuba.

Cuban authorities earlier stated that two-thirds of its current population had been born under the blockade, which causes hardship to all the island's social programs such as health, education, culture, science, transport and municipal services. The Cuban government estimates that the blockade has resulted in financial losses of around $86 billion.

The UN General Assembly has been adopting resolutions urging the United States to lift economic embargo against Cuba annually since 1991.

However, Washington, which does not have diplomatic relations with Havana and considers Cuba to be a state-sponsor of terrorism, has consistently refused to abolish the sanctions against the country.

The United States first introduced an arms embargo in the late 1950s, during internal conflict between Cuban rebels and the Batista government. In 1960, the then U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower introduced a partial economic embargo, and since then a succession of presidents have reinforced the blockade policy. In 1992, the U.S. introduced the Helms-Burton Act, which penalized foreign companies trading with Cuba.

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