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With Landslide 189-2 UN Vote, International Community Once Again Rebukes US for Cuba Embargo

In vote on resolution condemning nearly six-decade embargo, 189 member states vote in favor

A depiction of President Donald Trump in Havana, Cuba.

A depiction of President Donald Trump in Havana, Cuba. (Photo courtesy Michal Eskayo)

The United Staes once again displayed its near its near total outlier status on Thursday after the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a symbolic resolution denouncing the 58-year U.S. embargo against Cuba.

Following the trend of how the 193-member body voted over the previous 27 years on the resolution, 189 nations voted (pdf) in favor of the "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba" resolution, while just two—the United States and uber ally Israel—voted against it. There were no abstentions, though two members states, Ukraine and Moldova, did not vote.

The U.S. had offered up 8 amendments to the resolution. They overwhelmingly failed.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley dismissed the resolution as "a waste of everyone's time." Haley went on to call the vote "one more time that countries feel they can poke the United States in the eye," then added: "But you're not hurting the United States when you do this. You are literally hurting the Cuban people by telling the regime that their treatment of their people is acceptable."

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, for his part, said, "The government of the United States doesn't have the least moral authority to criticize Cuba or anyone when it comes to human rights." In addition, as the Associated Press reports:

Rodriguez accused the U.S. government of committing "crimes against humanity," pointing to its dropping of the atom bomb in Japan in World War II, waging wars that "caused the death of millions, many of them innocent," and carrying out what he claimed were "extrajudicial executions, kidnapping, and torture." He also accused the U.S. of violating the human rights of its citizens, singling out Afro-Americans, Hispanics, minorities, refugees, and migrants.

Iran's envoy to the United Nations Gholam-Ali Khoshroo, meanwhile, said the U.S. embargo on Cuba not only "violates the United Nations' Charter as well as the international law" but "constitutes an obstacle for international cooperation."

In 2016, under the Obama administration, the United States for the first time abstained in the vote amid thawing relations between Washington and Havana.

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