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UN Watch

The United States has alongside its more traditional methods of diplomacy, employed economic and diplomatic sanctions against Cuba, in the hope of forcing regime change, for fifty years. The UN General Assembly will vote on a resolution condemning the blockade Wednesday next week (Oct 29th).

The draft resolution titled “Necessity to put an end to the Economic, Commercial and Financial Blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” is to be introduced by Cuba and is similar to those passed by the General Assembly over the preceding 16 years. The last vote on the question was held October last year and passed 184 to 4. The United States and three of its vassal states; Israel, Palau and the Marshall Islands voted against while Micronesia abstained.

International condemnation notwithstanding, ten US Administrations have pursued the policy which is now being used to hinder Cuba’s recovery from this year’s hurricane season which is estimated to have caused 5 billion dollars worth of damage. The head of Cuba's Interest Section in Washington, Jorge Bolaños, has told the Associated Press that the blockade is “equivalent to genocide; its intention is strangulation”. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) the four tropical storms and hurricanes that hit Cuba this year destroyed or damaged 444,000 homes and nearly 113,000 hectares of crops were damaged.

UN agencies are seeking $30 million to help Cuban storm survivors. It is estimated economic damage caused by the blockade since its inception in 1962 is in the vicinity of US$93 billion.