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2003: Notes from U.N. debate on Cuba Embargo/Blockade

Posted November 04, 2005 by crp236 in Cuba Politics.
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The following notes are from Document A/58/PV.54 of the United Nations General Assembly on November 4, 2003.  It is available for reading at their
website.

A new vote will take place in four days [11/08/2005].

Mr. De Alba (Mexico):  My country, moreover, has always rejected the use of coercive measures as a means of applying pressure in international relations. My delegation has rejected the economic, trade and financial blockade imposed unilaterally against Cuba… 
My country believes that the Helms-Burton Act is contrary to the norms of international law… The blockade against Cuba must be brought to an end.

Mr. Aboutahir (Morocco): ...it is important to highlight the fact that the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed against Cuba is a unilateral act, the extraterritorial effects of which have no validity in
international law… impose untold hardship and suffering on the people of Cuba, especially its women and children…
Mr. Zhang Yishan (China): a grave violation of the fundamental freedoms and human rights of the Cuban people, including the right to life and development. Acts such as the rich bullying the poor and the strong bullying the weak are certainly not acceptable to the international community.
While [The United States] claims to be a democratic country that listens to the will of the people, in fact, for 11 years the United States has acted against the will of the people and the will of the international community.

Mr. Neil (Jamaica): We remain opposed to the extraterritorial application of national legislation that seeks to impose artificial barriers to trade and
cooperation, and which is contrary to the principle of the sovereign equality of States.

Mr. Rastam (Malaysia): ... the prolonged economic, commercial and financial
embargo has caused untold suffering to the Cuban population, particularly the elderly, women and innocent children… differences among nations could be better resolved through dialogue and negotiations, rather than through isolation and direct confrontation. The economic blockade against Cuba is indeed a
violation of international law.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Chau (Viet Nam): ...blockades and embargoes only
bring suffering to bear upon innocent people, particularly old people, women and children. Are the 11 million Cuban people on that tiny island able to do
harm to the world’s hyper-Power? The answer is obviously “no”.

Mr. Perez Roque (Cuba): The embargo is aimed at turning Cuba back into a
colony of the United States…  it is true that we are a poor third-world country, but there is not one Cuban citizen who lacks medical care, as is the case in the United States, where there are 44 million people who have no right to health-care services.  The embargo is a cruel and absurd policy that has no support within or outside the United States. The United States must recognize that the embargo is morally and ethically unjustifiable. It must recognize that it is a failure, that it causes its own isolation.

Mr. Andjaba (Namibia):  The embargo has caused,and continues to cause, major damage to the Cuban people’s material and spiritual welfare, imposing
serious obstacles on their economic, cultural and social development. The
new world order cannot be built on a cold war mind-set characterized by confrontation and economic blockade.

Ms. Ndhlovu (South Africa): [The embargo] is causing huge material losses and economic damage to the people of Cuba. South Africa views the
continued imposition of the economic, commercial and financial embargo against the Republic of Cuba as a flagrant violation of the principles of the sovereign equality of States and non-intervention and noninterference
in the domestic affairs of foreign sovereign States.

Mr. Mahiga (United Republic of Tanzania): We pay tribute to the dignified
resilience and courage of the Cuban people in facing, and bracing against, these punitive measures. The wholesale nature of the embargo, its longevity ó over four decades ó and its indiscriminate effects on infirm and innocent citizens, young and old alike, raises moral and ethical concerns over the issue of sanctions.

Mr. Alcalay (Venezuela): The international community has consistently repudiated such extraterritorial laws, which infringe on the sovereignty of other States… This is incompatible with the principle of the sovereign equality of States, because illegal measures of this kind impede the social and economic development of the Cuban people, striking hardest at the most vulnerable among them, such as children and the elderly.

Mr. Erwa (Sudan): One can imagine the damage inflicted upon Cuba over the past four decades and the unspeakable suffering that is daily visited upon its people, who have been deprived by the embargo of even the basic necessities. The adoption and application of unilateral coercive measures impedes full achievement of economic and social development by the populations of the affected countries, particularly children and women.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria,
Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon,
Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic,Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea,
Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea- Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon,
Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria,
Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New
Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao
Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago,Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda,Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel, Marshall Islands, United States of America

Abstaining:

Micronesia (Federated States of), Morocco

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