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Vol. 81/No. 43      November 20, 2017

(special feature)

US gov’t doesn’t have ‘moral authority’ to criticize Cuba

UN votes 191-2 against US embargo against Cuba

UNITED NATIONS — For the 26th year in a row, the U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Nov. 1 to demand “an end to the U.S. economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba.” This year the vote was 191-2 — only the governments of the United States and Israel voted against the resolution. Last year they abstained.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez told the body that even before Cuban working people overthrew dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959 every U.S. president for 100 years has sought to “dominate and exercise hegemony over Cuba.”

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley repeated many of the timeworn slanders against the Cuban Revolution and its leadership, claiming the Cuban people have been “deprived of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.” She claimed the revolutionary government “disrupts peaceful assemblies. It censors independent journalists and rigs the economy so the government alone profits.” And she argued that the purpose of the U.S. aggression was to aid the Cuban people so that they can “one day be free to choose their own destiny.”

“It is true that we had been left nearly alone in opposition to this annual resolution,” she stated. She made it clear that the propertied rulers in the U.S. care little what other governments think.

“Let’s be honest,” she added. “This assembly does not have the power to end the U.S. embargo. … Only the United States Congress can.”

“The United Sates does not have the slightest moral authority to criticize Cuba,” Rodríguez replied. “The U.S. representative spoke in the name of the head of an empire that is responsible for most of the wars in progress on the planet today … and is the decisive factor in worldwide instability.”

Rodríguez noted that from the first days of the revolution, Washington sought to overthrow it. He quoted from an April 6, 1960, memorandum by the U.S. State Department titled, “The Decline and Fall of Castro.” The memo outlined Washington’s goals in beginning its economic war against the Cuban Revolution, saying the economic embargo would “bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of [the] government.”

Haley criticized the Barack Obama administration for abstaining on the vote last year. The abstention followed the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba. The steadfast determination of Cuban working people had prevented the U.S. economic war against them from succeeding. Obama had to admit that Washington needed to shift tactics in their continuing effort to bring down Cuba’s socialist revolution.

Of course, Rodríguez said, the Obama administration refused to end the embargo. Washington has never admitted the embargo is “a flagrant, massive and systematic violation of the human rights of Cubans,” he said, “nor did it renounce the goal of subjugating our people.”

In June Washington reinstituted a ban on some “people-to-people” trips to Cuba that had been lifted by the Obama administration. And the Donald Trump administration restricted some of the small amount of U.S.-Cuba trade that had been allowed after the two government’s re-established diplomatic relations. Most of the Obama administration’s changes remain in place.

History of lies and aggression

“The policy announced by President Trump on June 16 is not new; it is the same old policy,” Rodríguez said. “It has been a history of lies and aggression.”

Using the pretext of alleged “sonic attacks” on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Havana — for which they have presented no evidence and at the same time admit the Cuban government bears no responsibility for — the State Department called most of its Havana staff home and stopped granting visas to Cubans who want to emigrate or visit the United States. At the same time they ordered the expulsion of most of the Cuban diplomatic personnel in the U.S.

The false charges about “sonic attacks” are a political pretext to further “intensify the blockade,” Rodríguez said.

Haley claimed the U.N. vote virtually unanimously rejecting Washington’s economic war against the Cuban people was just “political theater.”

Rodríguez gave numerous examples of how the U.S. rulers’ decadeslong economic assault directly affects the lives of the Cuban people, highlighting its impact on the import and export of medicines and medical devices.

Medicuba tried to buy a device used to diagnose prostate cancer from a German company, but company officials said they couldn’t fulfill the order because of the U.S. embargo.

“The Cuban people will never renounce the building of a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation,” Rodríguez said.

After the vote, Rodríguez visited with hundreds of supporters of the Cuban Revolution who had gathered to celebrate outside Cuba’s U.N. mission.
Related articles:
‘Cuban Revolution will never negotiate its principles’
Dreke: ‘Che led by example, by his revolutionary morals’
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