UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Brazil voted for the primary time with the US on Thursday towards an annual United Nations decision condemning and calling for an finish to Washington’s financial embargo on Communist-ruled Cuba, whereas Colombia and Ukraine abstained.
Vacationers in a classic automobile move by the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
The 193-member Normal Meeting nonetheless overwhelmingly adopted the decision for the 28th yr with 187 votes in favor. U.S. ally Israel additionally voted no and Moldova didn’t vote. The U.N. vote can carry political weight, however solely the U.S. Congress can raise the greater than 50-year-old embargo.
The coverage shift by Brazil represents the most recent try by President Jair Bolsonaro to attract nearer to U.S. President Donald Trump since taking workplace in January however runs towards the curiosity of some main Brazilian companies.
Brazil’s Souza Cruz Ltda, owned by British American Tobacco PLC has a three way partnership in Havana that makes many of the cigarettes in Cuba. Historically, Brazil has objected to how the U.S. utilized its home politics to international coverage, punishing firms from nations that commerce or spend money on Cuba.
Brazilian international minister Ernesto Araujo stated Brazil voted towards Cuba as a result of it was a communist state that had not stopped exporting revolution and was propping up Venezuela’s authorities, which he referred to as “the worst dictatorship within the historical past of the continent.”
“It’s time to cease flattering Cuba. The affect Cuba has over growing nations within the U.N. system is shameful and needs to be damaged,” Araujo stated on Twitter.
Colombia’s abstention follows a chill in its relations with Cuba.
Cuba as soon as hosted peace talks between Colombia and its Nationwide Liberation Military (ELN) insurgent group, however Havana’s refusal to extradite three guerrilla commanders after negotiations broke down has led to repeated criticism from the federal government of President Ivan Duque.
Colombia abstained from the vote due to Cuba’s “hostile angle” towards its extradition requests for the “confessed terrorists” and its assist for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the international ministry stated in a press release.
The USA persistently voted towards the U.N. resolutions for 24 years however abstained for the primary time in 2016 below former President Barack Obama, as Washington and Havana cast a more in-depth relationship.
Relations have deteriorated sharply below Trump, returning to Chilly Battle characterizations of Cuba and tightening commerce and journey restrictions that had been eased by Obama.
“The USA shouldn’t be liable for the Cuban regime’s limitless abuses of its individuals,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft informed the Normal Meeting forward of the vote.
“It’s our first duty as leaders to defend these with no voice, immediately most particularly the individuals of Cuba. Disgrace be upon us if we refuse to boost our voices in protection of theirs,” Craft stated.
Final yr the US proposed eight amendments to the decision to push Cuba to enhance its human rights document, however the entire proposals failed.
Cuban International Minister Bruno Rodriguez rejected U.S. criticism of Cuba’s human rights document, accusing Washington of manipulating “human rights for political functions and we reject double requirements.”
“The U.S. authorities doesn’t have the slightest ethical authority to criticize Cuba or every other nation in terms of human rights,” he informed the U.N. Normal Meeting, citing an opioid disaster, gun violence, poverty and unemployment in the US.
Further reporting by Julia Cobb in Bogota, Lisandra Paraguassu and Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Modifying by Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool