The Guardian November 12, 2003


Record 179 countries vote against US blockade of Cuba

The UN General Assembly voted by an overwhelming majority on 
November 4 to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade 
imposed on Cuba by the United States.

The resolution adopted obtained a record 179 votes in favour, 
with only the United States, Israel and the US-dependant Marshall 
Islands voting against it, and only two countries abstaining.

The vote recalls declarations made by the heads of state and 
government at Ibero-American Summits in relation to the need to 
eliminate the unilateral application of measures of an economic 
and commercial nature affecting the unfettered development of 
international trade.

It also expresses concern at the continued promulgation and 
application of laws and regulations such as the US Helms-Burton 
Act that affect the sovereignty of other states, the legitimate 
interests of entities and persons under their jurisdiction, and 
freedom of trade and navigation.

It reiterates previous calls on all states to abstain from 
undertaking actions of this kind, and urges the most rapid repeal 
or annulment possible of those in existence.

The resolution asks the UN Secretary General to prepare a report 
on the present resolution "in the light of the aims and 
principles of the organisation's Charter and international law 
for presentation to the General Assembly in its next period of 
sessions".

In that way the issue remains on the program for debate next year 
as a question of constant interest.

The vote is yet another smack in the face for US imperialism and 
its aggressive policies. The US suffered other setbacks when it 
was knocked off several UN Committees, including Human Rights and 
its failure to force its corporate globalisation agenda through 
the WTO Ministerial meeting in Cancun.

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