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UN votes to lift blockade against Cuba

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The International community recently voted overwhelmingly to end the 47-year-old trade embargo imposed on Cuba by the United States.{{more}}

On Wednesday, October 29th, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted 185 to 3 to bring an end to the embargo which Cuban Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Olga Chamero Trias says has cost Cuba US $93 billion.

Micronesia and the Marshall Islands abstained from voting, while the United States, Israel and Palau voted to keep the embargo in place.

Speaking at a Press conference held at the Cuban Embassy on Thursday, October 30, the Ambassador, who described the embargo as an “economic war”, said that during the two terms of the George W. Bush administration, the embargo was even more strongly enforced. She said that last year, countries, banks and other institutions which did business with Cuba faced persecution.

This is the 17th straight year that the General Assembly has called for the embargo to be repealed “as soon as possible”.

Ambassador Chamero Trias is of the opinion that if the embargo had not been imposed, her country would have made greater progress, especially in the areas of Science, Technology and Pharmaceuticals. “Imagine what Cuba could have done if this blockade was not there,” she noted.

Trias explained that even though her country has been under the stringent economic blockade for close to five decades, they were able to “transform from an underdeveloped country to a developed country.” According to Trias, the United States wants to punish her people. “They want us to pay for the fact that Cubans have been supporting the revolution for years.” She further noted that the United States believes that Cuban people will say “Let’s negotiate at any cost. Let’s put an end to this blockade.” But According to Trias, her country will not accept “anything less than a lifting of the illegal blockade” which was first imposed by the John F Kenney administration.

The Ambassador believes that her country is not the only one which has suffered because of the blockade. “The American people are also blockaded; they cannot visit Cuba nor have cultural, scientific and educational exchanges,” she noted.

Trias expressed hope that the new American President will take into consideration the opinion of the international community. She felt that any “honest and just government” of the world should be happy with the recent vote at the United Nations, and thanked the government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines for voting and supporting Cuba. (VM)

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