India Among 188 Nations Calling for End to U.S. Embargo on Cuba

Thursday, 30 October 2014, 09:38 Hrs
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UNITED NATIONS: India was among 188 nations that voted in favor of a UN General Assembly resolution, which for the 23rd year in a row called for an end to the U.S. economic, commercial and financial embargo on Cuba.

The resolution 'Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the U.S. against Cuba' had 188 nations voting in favour and, as in previous years, the United States and Israel voting against.

Three island States -- Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and Palau -- abstained from the vote.

Associating with the Group of 77 and the Non-Aligned Movement, Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN Amit Narang said the continued existence of the embargo against Cuba undermined multi lateralism and the credibility of the United Nations itself.

He said the embargo was a violation of the right of a sovereign State to development and to enjoy the freedom of trade, economy and navigation.

The embargo had had a deleterious effect on the Cuban economy at a time of slow recovery from the global financial crisis, he said, adding the extraterritorial application of the embargo had discouraged investment and technology transfer and suppressed other forms of business collaborations between Cuba and other countries.

In today's age of the Internet, it was paradoxical that the embargo had contributed to the significantly low level of Internet penetration in Cuba, Narang added.

He said India joins other nations in calling for the immediate end to embargo.

Countries including Iran, Bolivia, Barbados, Russia and Mexico lauded Cuba for being at the forefront of the fight against Ebola and praised it for mobilizing 461 doctors and nurses to West Africa -- the largest medical contingent of any country to help in the fight against the outbreak.

Opposing the resolution, U.S. envoy Ronald Godard said the Cuban Government has used the resolution to attempt to shift blame away from its own policy failures.

Cuba's economic woes were due to the policies it had pursued over the last half century, he said, adding greater employment opportunities and liberalization of the real estate market in Cuba were necessary as were other changes.

Cuba would not thrive until it committed to a free and fair market, allowed unfettered access to information, opened its State-run monopolies and adopted the sound economic policies of its neighbours, he added.

Cuba's fight against Ebola was laudable, but it did not excuse its treatment of its own people, Godard said reiterating that the Cuban people should be able to choose their own future.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told the Assembly as he introduced the draft resolution that in recent times, the blockade imposed by the US against Cuba had been tightened and its extraterritorial implementation had also been strengthened through the imposition of unprecedented fines.

The accumulated economic damages of the blockade totalled $ 1.1 trillion, based on the price of gold.

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Source: PTI
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