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UN condemns US embargo on Cuba

10-26-2011 08:20 BJT

The UN General Assembly on Tuesday overwhelmingly backed the 20th annual condemnation of the US blockade of Cuba.

Amid strong criticism of the United States, the annual resolution was passed by 186 votes to two -- the United States and Israel -- with three abstentions. Last year it had 187 votes in favor.

Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez accused the US government of intensifying restrictions on trade and economic contacts with the communist island in recent years.

He told the General Assembly the annual votes highlight "the uncomfortable isolation of the aggressor country and the heroic resistance of a people that refuse to give on its sovereign rights."

Rodriguez said the embargo on trade, travel and financial contacts -- officially imposed in 1962 -- had now cost more than $975 billion.

Some measures have been eased in recent years and US President Barack Obama said last month that he would be ready to change the tough policy if there was evidence of reforms in the communist state.

US mission diplomat Ron Godard told the assembly debate that "this annual exercise attempts to no good end to obscure some fundamental truths" about Cuba.

He said the communist government's policies are the "greatest obstacle" to Cuba's economic recovery. Godard said the Cuba-US dispute should be handled bilaterally.

However friends and foes told the UN debate that the United States should take a new look at ties with Cuba, where the embargo was imposed after Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution against a US-backed government.

Russia's US ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the United States was carrying out "economic strangulation" and called for the "earliest repeal of this senseless anti-Cuban practice running counter to modern international realities."

The building of Soviet missile bases in Cuba in 1962 set off a major Cold War confrontation.

As in previous years, Israel joined the United States in opposing the UN resolution while Pacific allies the Marshall islands, Micronesia and Palau abstained.

 

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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