UN urges end of US embargo on Cuba for 22nd year

Updated: 2013-10-30 08:04


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UNITED NATIONS  -- The UN General Assembly ( UNGA) on Tuesday adopted a resolution urging the United States to end its long-running embargo against Cuba.

The resolution was approved by the 193-nation assembly with 188 votes for, two against and three abstentions.

The United States, which imposed the blockade against the Caribbean island country in the early 1960s, voted against the draft resolution along with Israel. The Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau abstained. Palau joined the United States and Israel in voting against the draft resolution.

The resolution, which is not legally binding, once again urged states that have applied and continue to apply laws and measures for Cuba embargo to "take the necessary steps to repeal or invalidate them as soon as possible in accordance with their legal regime."

This is the 22nd year in a row that the UNGA has adopted such a resolution by overwhelming majority to condemn the US embargo on Cuba. Last year's vote was 188-3, with two abstentions.

The UNGA, as it did in the previous years, also reaffirmed "the sovereign equality of states, non-intervention and non- interference in their internal affairs and freedom of international trade and navigation."

The resolution also called on all states to "refrain from promulgating and applying laws and measures" of such kind against Cuba, "in conformity with their obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and international law."

"The General Assembly determined to encourage strict compliance with the purpose and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations," it said.

Despite the continuous adoption of similar resolutions at the UNGA, Washington has repeatedly rejected their calls and demands.

The resolution also voiced concern about "the continued promulgation and application by member states of laws and regulations, such as that promulgated on March 12, 1996 known as " the Helms-Burton Act", the extraterritorial interests of entities or persons under their jurisdiction and the freedom of trade and navigation."

The Helms-Burton Act, passed by the US Congress in 1996, further boosted the embargo by bringing third party foreign companies into the scope of US sanctions against Cuba.