On November 2, 2023, the U.N. General Assembly again condemned for the 31st time, the U.S. embargo of Cuba. This time the vote was 187-2 with one abstention. The negative votes were cast by the U.S. and Israel; the abstention by Ukraine. Three other countries did not vote on the resolution: Somalia, Venezuela and Moldova.
U.S. Deputy Ambassador Paul Flambee, after the vote, told the Assembly that the United States “stands resolutely with the Cuban people. We strongly support their pursuit of a future with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.” He added the following:
- “Approximately 1,000 political prisoners remain behind bars in Cuba – more than at any point in Cuba’s recent history. Nearly 700 of those detentions owe to the historic July 11, 2021, protests during which members of civil society including human rights defenders, as well as minors of age, exercise their freedom of expression and right of peaceful assembly. We share the Cuban people’s dream of democracy in Cuba and join international partners in calling for the Cuban government to immediately release all those unjustly detained.”
- “Despite Cuba’s membership in the UN Human Rights Council, the Cuban government has delayed responding to requests to send independent experts to Cuba, who would help advance respect for human rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of religion, or belief, and the freedom to assemble peacefully. Some of these requests have remained pending for 10 years.”
- “Sanctions are one set of tools in our broader effort toward Cuba to advance democracy and promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba.”
- “We recognize the challenges the Cuban people face. That is why U.S. sanctions include exemptions and authorizations relating to the exports of food, medicine, and other humanitarian goods to Cuba.” In fact, the “United States remains a significant source of humanitarian goods to the Cuban people and one of Cuba’s principal trading partners. In 2002* alone, U.S. companies exported over $295 million worth of agricultural goods to Cuba, including food, to help meet the needs of the Cuban people.”
 Lederer. UN votes overwhelmingly to condemn US economic embargo on Cuba for 31st year and urge its lifting, Wash. Post (Oct. 2, 2023); The UN condemns the US embargo against Havana with 187 votes in favor, Diario de Cuba (Oct. 2, 2023); Explanation of Vote After the Vote on a UN General Assembly Resolution on the Cuba Embargo, U.S. Mission to the U.N. (Nov. 2, 2023). This blog has reported on some of the prior approvals of such resolutions by the General Assembly. (See, e.g., U.N. General Assembly Again Condemns U.S. Embargo (Blockade) of Cuba, dwkcommentaroes.com (Nov, 8, 2002).)