Statement from Engage Cuba on UN Vote Condemning the Cuban Embargo

The United Nations General Assembly will vote today on a resolution condemning the U.S. embargo on Cuba. As in years past, the vast majority of UN member countries are expected to support the resolution, yet again underlining the worldwide consensus that the U.S. embargo is an antiquated policy that harms the Cuban people. Nevertheless, the U.S. has indicated that it will once again oppose the resolution.

Engage Cuba President James Williams issued the following statement ahead of the UN vote on Tuesday:

“For too long, the U.S. has had an ineffectual, unilateral policy toward Cuba. As one of the only countries to vote against the Cuban embargo resolution, our holdout vote exposes that our policy aimed at isolating Cuba has ironically isolated us.

On December 17, the President announced the Administration would chart a new course with Cuba. Although we’ve seen significant progress – including restoring diplomatic relations and easing travel between our countries – Congress still must take action to end the embargo. For Members of Congress who say they are concerned with human rights on the Island (indeed a valid concern), they should note that the major international human rights organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International oppose the embargo, citing its ineffectiveness at promoting human rights on the island.

Both parties in Congress should pay attention to the UN vote today. While other global issues expose deep differences among nations, on this topic they are nearly unanimous: It’s time to end the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

However, Cuba too must recognize that it needs to look to the future and not be stuck fighting the battles of a pre-December 17th past. It is our hope that this is the last year the UN will vote on such a resolution.”