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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: L’embargo sur Cuba condamné

by Cathy Ceïbe

UN General Assembly Condemns Yet Again the Embargo Against Cuba

Translated Saturday 18 November 2006

United Nations. The General Assembly has voted overwhelmingly once more - by 183-4 - in favour of lifting the sanctions imposed by Washington against Cuba.

For the 15th consecutive year, the General Assembly of the United Nations pronounced itself, in an overwhelming majority, last Wednesday, in favour of a resolution calling for the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States. “Seventy per cent of Cubans were born under the blockade, which has cost the Cuban economy more than 86 billion dollars in the space of 47 years ”, recalled the Cuban minister of Foreign Affairs, Felipe Perez Roque. labeling the blockade an economic war, “an act of genocide, as defined under the United Nations Charter, violating international law”.

Refused access to international markets and to credits, Cuba is obliged to pay an additional price of 30-50% as a result of the prohibition on ships from docking in its ports, a consequence of the United States Torricelli and Helms-Burton amendments.

Unsurprisingly, the United States and Israel, which both disregard UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as two tax havens, Palau and the Marshall Islands, voted against lifting of the blockade. “We must send a clear signal to the Cuban government, that it is not the embargo, but the denial of fundamental human rights to Cuban people that is the cause of their suffering”, explained, unconvincingly, the US delegate Ronald Godard. As if the United States was the world champion in democracy, stifling the rights of a people - in Cuba- for more than forty years.

The resolution, adopted by 183 countries (4 against), has nevertheless very little chance of being applied since General Assembly votes are not binding. Nevertheless, the number of States condemning the blockade, a hang-over of the Cold War, has not ceased to grow during recent years, demonstrating the Washington’s isolation concerning Cuba.

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