"Trump has so alienated European countries, Latin countries and African countries that I don’t think the US should expect support for hardening the embargo"
UNITED NATIONS — For the 27th year running the U.S. was singled out by the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, condemned by 189 of the U.N.’s 193 nations for its continued embargo of Cuba.
Only Israel joined the U.S. in rejecting a resolution chiding Washington for the embargo’s “adverse effects” on the Cuban population.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parilla had more critical words to describe the U.S. policy:
“It is an act of aggression and an act of economic war which disrupts international peace and order.”
Trying to turn the tables on Cuba, the U.S. introduced eight amendments to the resolution, each of which condemned the communist government for human rights violations.
One amendment criticized the harassment of activists and journalists, while another said Cuba’s “severe lack” of freedom of expression undermined U.N. efforts to promote inclusive societies.
But if the U.S. hoped forcing countries to confront Cuba’s grim human rights record would dampen criticism of the embargo, the gambit failed, and only Ukraine voted to stand with the U.S. and Israel.
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the U.S. didn’t mind being in the minority:
“It’s one more time that countries feel they can poke the United States in the eye. But you’re not hurting the United States when you do this. You’re literally hurting the Cuban people by telling the regime that their treatment of their people is acceptable.”
Peter Schwab, a professor of political science at Purchase College, said global criticism of the embargo isn’t likely to go away.
“Trump has so alienated the European Union and European countries and Latin countries and African countries that I don’t think he or the United States should expect support for hardening the embargo or hardening attacks on Cuba or getting the U.N. to condemn Cuba over one thing or another.”
While most Americans favor ending the 58-year-old Cuba embargo, Schwab thinks Cuban policy in general has fallen off the political radar — especially as Florida’s Cuban voting block loses sway. In the meantime, the embargo will likely continue, and so will the U.N.’s yearly charade.