For 29 years, member states of the United Nations have voted on a resolution condemning the U.S. economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba. Today, the international community spoke nearly unanimously again, with 184 states against 2 (the United States and Israel). The world community has once again affirmed that this extraterritorial embargo which is effectively an economic blockade is an unjust, cruel and outdated policy that only isolates the United States — not Cuba — from the rest of the world.
ACERE led a letter signed by nearly 140 organizations representing millions of U.S. Americans — including prominent organizations such as Oxfam, Amnesty, and MoveOn — asking President BIden to follow the lead of President Obama by abstaining in the UN vote, and to utilize the opportunity to announce his administration’s policy towards normalization of bilateral relations with Cuba. Unfortunately, Biden ignored our plea. He has instead continued to follow Trump’s policies on Cuba.
ACERE condemns the United States’ vote today at the U.N. General Assembly. We call on President Biden to uphold his campaign promise and implement basic, simple and common sense policy changes towards Cuba, particularly while the world continues to grapple with a global pandemic.
There continues to be widespread support across the U.S. for normalized relations with Cuba and an end to punishing, illegal sanctions that continue to inflict harm and poverty on the Cuban people. 80 Members of Congress wrote to Biden in early March calling for immediate action to restore Obama’s policy towards Cuba and move towards ending the embargo. U.S. citizens are passing dozens of citywide resolutions calling for bilateral cooperation; they have raised over $400,000 to send syringes to help Cuba’s vaccination campaign; they are organizing monthly caravans in dozens of cities. Cuban Americans, anxious to help their families back home, have taken the lead in many of these activities.
Today’s vote in the UN sends a clear message to the Biden administration that the world shares the sentiments of a majority of U.S. Americans.