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      UN Overwhelmingly Votes Against the Blockade!

      By Tamara Hansen

      Since the forum on September 17, 2015, there has been an important update in the campaign to end the U.S. blockade on Cuba. On Tuesday October 27, 2015 the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted for the 23rd year in a row on a resolution put forward by Cuba about ending the U.S. blockade.

      At the end of the talk by Nino Pagliccia printed in Volume 9 Issue 10 of Fire This Time Newspaper, he said, “Now given all of this, and given that this is now as a resolution that in fact will be presented at the UN and will be voted on at the UN on the 27th of October. How is the U.S. going to vote? […] I don’t have the answer. It’s quite a dilemma for them to decide now which way to go. And I think that is when we will probably get a good hint of their good intentions or their real intentions.”

      Surprisingly to me, in the days after the forum there were articles in mainstream news saying the U.S. government might abstain from the U.N. vote.

      > Associated Press: "APNewsBreak: US weighs abstention on Cuba embargo vote at UN"
      > USAToday: "GOP furious that U.S. may abstain on U.N. vote to condemn Cuba embargo"
      > FoxNews: "US reportedly may abstain from UN vote condemning Cuba embargo"

      The AP article cited "four [U.S.] administration officials who weren't authorized to speak publicly" and showed that the White House was obviously trying to raise some eyebrows. Despite all of this it seemed impossible that the U.S. would abstain on the U.N. vote because we know that the U.S. intentions towards Cuba are not friendly.

      So, on October 27, 2015, while 191 countries worldwide voted in the United Nations General Assembly to end the U.S. blockade on Cuba, only the United States and Israel stood once again on the wrong side of history voting to keep the unjust and cruel blockade on Cuba.

      How did the U.S. justify its vote? In their, "Explanation of Vote at a UN General Assembly Meeting on the Cuba Embargo" the U.S. mission to the U.N. stated, "We regret […] that the Government of Cuba has chosen to proceed with its annual resolution. The text falls short of reflecting the significant steps that have been taken and the spirit of engagement President Obama has championed. As a result, the United States cannot support it."

      However, they ignore that Cuba’s resolution was virtually the same as it has been, because despite gains in other areas in U.S.-Cuba relations, the blockade remains mostly unchanged. Cuba’s arguments against the blockade were powerfully outlined in the talk by Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, given at the UNGA before the vote. His talk is reprinted in this issue of Fire This Time Newspaper.

      In the end, the October 2015 vote at the UNGA was a triumphant victory for socialist Cuba. Out of 193 nations at the UN, 191 or 99% of countries voted together with Cuba to end the cruel and unjust U.S. Blockade. However, our work is not over. We need to continue building the worldwide campaign against the blockade, to be a part of ending this historic injustice against the people of Cuba. If you are in Vancouver, Canada please join us for the next monthly picket action of the Friends of Cuba Against the U.S. Blockade (FCAB-Vancouver) on Tuesday November 17, 2015 at 4pm in front of the United States Consulate (1075 W. Pender St. in Downtown Vancouver)


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