U.N. Condemns U.S. Blockade of Cuba

Reprinted from The Worker, newspaper of the Workers Party, USA.

October 28, 2010

For the 19th consecutive occasion, the United Nations General Assembly has condemned the U.S. blockade of Cuba. On October 26th, 187 nations voted in support of the resolution called "The necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba." Only the U.S. and Israel voted against the resolution. Three countries abstained.

The U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, first enacted in 1962, imposes a total ban on all food, medicine, equipment and raw materials from the U.S. and prohibits free travel between the two countries. In recent years, legislation has further tightened the embargo. In 1992, Congress passed the Torricelli Bill which, in blatant violation of the sovereignty of other states, imposed sanctions against all countries that trade with Cuba. The Helms-Burton legislation, signed into law in 1996, extends such third-party sanctions by denying entry visas to the U.S. for foreign individuals linked to any corporations doing business in Cuba. It also seeks to cut off all international loans to Cuba.

U.S. sanctions have resulted in untold hardship on the Cuban people, denying them medical and humanitarian supplies as well as raw materials, energy and spare parts. It is estimated that the blockade already cost Cuba over 750 billion dollars.

The UN vote dramatically reveals the hypocrisy of the U.S. government. The U.S. government uses the UN Security Council as a vehicle through which it – along with the other big imperialist powers – can dictate the affairs of other countries while claiming to have the authority of international law and the UN. Today, any country which opposes U.S. pressure and interference is portrayed by U.S. imperialism as an "international outlaw" and in many cases military action is threatened or taken against so-called "rogue" states. But for the last eighteen years, when the UN has voted overwhelmingly against the U.S. blockade of Cuba, the U.S. government has shamelessly turned its head, ignoring not only the elementary norms of relations between states and universally recognized international law, but also the declared will of almost every country in the world.

U.S. imperialism wants to overthrow the current political and economic system in Cuba and restore Cuba to the status of a U.S. colony or neo-colony. Such an aggressive foreign policy flies in the face of world public opinion and the deep aspirations of the people of the U.S. who want to live in peace and friendship with the people of Cuba. The Workers Party calls for an end to the U.S. embargo and blockade and that the U.S. government recognize the sovereign and inviolable right of Cuba to determine its own affairs, free of U.S. intervention and pressure.