As the world prepares to condemn the United States in the United Nations, Cuba declares the embargo an act of war.
On the eve of a United Nations General Assembly where the vast majority of the international world is expected to denounce the US for its ongoing economic embargo against Cuba, the communist-led island’s representative to the UN has compared the trade blockade to an act of war.
“To comprehend the heart of the blockade and bilateral relations between Cuba and the United States, we must view the blockade as an act of war, a strategy that causes calculated damage to an entire people,” said Cuban Permanent Representative to the United Nations Pedro Luis Pedroso Cuesta.
“It is a manifestation of hatred that denies the Cuban people their right to self-determination,” he continued, “the right to build and develop in a sovereign manner the political, economic, and social model that Cuba has decided to create.”
The limitations were first imposed six decades ago by then-US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as a revolutionary movement led by Fidel Castro rose to power in Cuba. The measures were later stepped up by President John F. Kennedy’s successor administration, which backed the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in an attempt to overthrow Castro by force, and sent US ships to intercept Soviet ships bringing nuclear-capable missiles to the island in a standoff that sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis, bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war.
The end of the Cold War 30 years later, however, changed international views on Cuba, as Havana was left without a superpower ally, and a new consensus was formed that has lasted nearly three decades. With the exception of last year because to the COVID-19 outbreak, the United Nations General Assembly has voted regularly to condemn the United States’ long-term policy toward Cuba since 1992, the year after the Soviet Union fell apart.
In the most recent vote, conducted in November 2019, 187 countries backed the “Necessity of removing the United States of America’s economic, commercial, and financial embargo against Cuba.” Brazil, Israel, and the United States were the only countries to vote against it, with Colombia and Ukraine abstaining.
At the time, then-President Donald Trump was reversing historic moves taken by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama. This is a condensed version of the information.