Cuba celebrates historic UN vote against US-led trade embargo

Updated: 2015-10-28 14:38


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HAVANA - Cuba on Tuesday celebrated the international community's nearly unanimous support for its appeal to abolish the US-led five-decade trade embargo against the island nation.

At a United Nations General Assembly session, delegates from 191 member nations voted in favor of a Cuban-drafted resolution calling for an end to the embargo.

"This year's vote saw 191 countries support Cuba's resolution against the blockade," Cuba's state daily Granma said.

Since the resolution condemning the embargo was first put to vote in 1992, the United States has been increasingly isolated over the issue.

As in prior years, only the United States and Israel voted against the resolution, but "unlike previously, this year there were no abstentions," Granma noted.

In 2014, the Pacific island nations of Palau, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia abstained, making the final vote 188 in favor to two against.

The Cuban government was closely watching to see whether Washington would consider the new reality of the Cuba-US ties and at least abstain from voting against the resolution.

US President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raul Castro, this summer restored the diplomatic ties between the two countries severed during the John F. Kennedy administration.

Obama has also eased restrictions on trade, remittances and travel. While he has acknowledged the half-century embargo as a "failure," he maintains that only the US Congress can repeal it.

Cuba has made it clear that the embargo, which it calls a blockade, remains the single-biggest obstacle to the normalization of bilateral ties.

Cuban journalist and former diplomat Manuel Yepe Menendez thinks the US vote "discredits the current US foreign policy" and reveals more about the US power structure than it does about the Cuba-US ties.

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