Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Condemning the Cuba embargo

Just like clockwork, the United Nations voted to condemn the U.S. embargo against Cuba for the 20th year in a row.  In recent years the vote has gone pretty much the same way.  Israel stands with the U.S. along with tiny Pacific nations to varying degrees:

The final tally was 186-2, with only Israel joining the United States as it did last year. The small Pacific nations of Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands abstained as they also did last year.
Last year's tally for the symbolic measure was almost identical, 187-2, with three abstentions.

What a sad spectacle for an utterly failed policy.

American Ambassador Ronald D. Godard, U.S. Senior Area Adviser for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said the embargo is a bilateral issue and "not appropriately a concern of this assembly."
Godard said the sanctions represent "just one aspect of U.S. policy toward Cuba, whose overarching goal is to encourage a more open environment in Cuba and increased respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms."

After over 50 years, how in the world can we say with a straight face we think it will encourage a more open environment in Cuba?  For many, many years the embargo has been one of the best friends of the Castro regime, allowing it to blame its economic mistakes on the U.S. and have a constant political foil.  Ending the embargo would entail a political defeat for the Castros and a victory for common sense.


Mike Allison 4:09 PM  

I'm just thinking about Helms-Burton and the effort by the US Government to punish other countries / firms that do business with Cuba. A bilateral issue?

Greg Weeks 4:36 PM  

Good point. The set of laws we call the "embargo" do not affect Cuba only.

Anonymous,  5:10 PM  

In comparison to what the US has done to other countries, the embargo is almost an act of love from the US. Hope the chinese raise soon!

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