Every year, nearly the entire globe condemns the US embargo against Cuba as a human rights disaster at the UN General Assembly. And every year, the US government ignores the international community’s pleas.

by Medea Benjamin and Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Jacobin

Immoral, illegal, archaic, coercive, intimidating, criminal, absurd, reckless, brutal — even genocidal. These were some of the adjectives used by global leaders at the United Nations as they took to the podium at the United Nations General Assembly to rail against US policy toward Cuba. Then yesterday, November 3, for the thirtieth year, the General Assembly voted nearly unanimously — 185–2 — to support a resolution presented by Cuba calling for an end to the US embargo (also known as the blockade).

street scene in havana cuba

As was the case last year, this year, the only two countries supporting the embargo were the United States and Israel, a state that is beholden to the United States for the $3.8 billion it receives every year in military and arms spending to continue its fierce repression of Palestinians. The annual condemnation of the United States’ unilateral coercive measures against Cuba shows how out of touch the United States remains in the face of an international commitment to eliminate its economic warfare policies against countries that pose no military or nuclear threat.

It is hard to get such overwhelming agreement at the United Nations about anything, especially for resolutions that condemn the US government. The United States is normally able to use a carrot-and-stick approach to get significant support for its positions, particularly from small countries beholden to US foreign aid. But in the case of Cuba, US strong-arming doesn’t work.

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