From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Oct 30 2008 - 16:15:53 EST
US, mute over world condemnation at UN
Fri, 31 Oct 2008 17:11:53 GMT
The world has made known its objection to US policies in an overwhelming
UN vote over which Washington has provided no official response.
On Wednesday, rapturous applause filled the chamber of the UN General
Assembly after the members voted against the US embargo imposed on Cuba.
A total of 185 countries voted in favor of the anti-US resolution with a
mere three UN member states (the United States, Israel and Palau) voting
against the measure and two abstaining (Marshall Islands and
The resolution calling for Washington to put an end to its sanctions
against Cuba has been commented by those condemning US policies. The
White House has not touched on the issue.
"We expect that the new [US] president will change the policy toward
Cuba after nearly 50 years," Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque
told AFP on Wednesday.
Roque said the current US administration wants regime change in Cuba,
adding that Washington has refused to pool resources with Havana against
the surge of criminality on the island.
An Iranian representative to the UN, Eshagh Al-Habib, said the sanctions
run counter to "the letter and the spirit of the charter of the United
Nations which calls for promoting solidarity and cooperation and
friendly relations among the nations."
Speaking for the European Union, which lifted diplomatic sanctions
against Cuba earlier this year, French UN deputy ambassador Jean-Pierre
Lacroix said the restrictions were 'contrary to commonly accepted rules
of international trade'.
Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin also sided with Cuba, suggesting the
embargo to be 'remnant from the days of the Cold War which is preventing
the establishment of a new just world order'.
The current US administration has sought a tough approach on Cuba with
incumbent President George W. Bush backing tighter travel and trade
restrictions on the island than previously in place.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has, meanwhile, promised
to enter dialogue with 'US enemies' while his rival John McCain says he
would up pressure on the Cuban leadership which he believes has
restricted the freedom of the nation.
Before the UN vote on the issue, American diplomat Ronald Godard
defended the US punitive measures on Havana, claiming that the sanctions
have been tailor-made 'to permit the Cuban people access to food and
humanitarian goods' while limiting Cuba's powers.
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