In a resolution adopted by 186 votes in favour to two against (Israel and the US) and three abstentions the Assembly reiterated its call to all States for the 20th consecutive year, to refrain from promulgating and applying laws and measures not conforming with their obligations to reaffirm freedom of trade and navigation.
It also urged them to repeal or invalidate such laws and requested the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the resolution at the Assembly’s next session, which begins in September 2012.
Cuba’s Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, in introducing the text said that the US has never hidden the fact that the objective of the embargo is to overthrow his country’s Government. He said the embargo has caused more than $975 billion in damage to the Cuban people.
“What the US Government wants to see changed will not change,” he stated, declaring that the Cuban government will continue to be “the government of the people, by the people and for the people.
“Our elections shall not be auction sales. There shall not be four billion electoral campaigns nor a parliament supported by 13 per cent of voters,” he added.
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments in a statement read out by Belize, urged Washington to listen to the growing international chorus of criticism against the measure.
CARICOM said that the unilateral imposition of extraterritorial laws on third states “is contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the United Nations Charter”.
The Caribbean countries said the economic and trade embargo in place since the Cuban revolution, “runs counter to the principles of multilateralism, international law, sovereignty and free trade” that the UN traditionally champions”.
The US representative, Ronald Godard, said that for yet another year, the Assembly is taking up a resolution designed to confuse and obscure.
“But let there be no confusion about this: the United States, like most Member States, reaffirms its strong commitment to supporting the right and the heartfelt desire of the Cuban people to freely determine their future.
“And let there be no obscuring that the Cuban regime has deprived them of this right for more than half a century,” he said, adding that the economic relationship between the US and Cuba is a bilateral issue and is not appropriately a concern of the Assembly.
“The embargo represents just one aspect of US policy towards Cuba whose overarching goal is to encourage a more open environment in Cuba and increased respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, principles to which this Organization is also dedicated,” he said.