http://havanajournal.com/politics/entry/ambassador_john_bolton_calls_un_cuba_embargo_vote_irrelevant/

HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

“Ambassador” John Bolton calls UN Cuba Embargo vote “irrelevant”

Posted November 09, 2005 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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Bloomberg

The United Nations General Assembly voted for the 14th consecutive year to call for an end to the 43- year-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, drawing a rebuke from John Bolton, the new U.S. envoy to the world body.

“This is a complete exercise in irrelevancy,’’ Ambassador Bolton told reporters in New York. “For a General Assembly that has not yet seriously attempted to reform the UN Human Rights Commission to adopt this exercise in Cuban propaganda really tells you something.’‘

Israel, the Marshall Islands and Palau joined the U.S. in voting against the non-binding resolution, which urges the U.S. to “repeal and invalidate’’ the embargo that has been in effect since 1962, three years after Fidel Castro seized control of the Caribbean island and transformed it into a bastion of communism. Micronesia abstained. The resolution was adopted today by a vote of 182 to 4.

The Bush administration said the resolution was an attempt to shift blame for Castro’s shortcomings and that the General Assembly should not deal with the question.

“The United States trade embargo is a bilateral issue and should not come before the General Assembly,’’ U.S. envoy Ronald Godard said. “If the people of Cuba are jobless, hungry or lack medical care, as Castro admits, it is because of his economic mismanagement, not the embargo.’‘

Godard said the U.S. would ease restrictions on trade and travel after Cuba allows “free and fair’’ elections and the formation of independent trade unions.

U.S. Exports

He said the U.S. since 1992 has licensed $1.1 billion in sales and donations of medicine and medical equipment to Cuba. In the past five years more than $5 billion in U.S. farm commodities have been exported to Cuba, he said.

Envoys from the European Union, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, North Korea, Russia, South Africa and Vietnam spoke against the embargo before vote.

“The European Union believes that critical engagement with the Cuban government, alongside dialogue with wider Cuban civil society, is the most effective way to promote peaceful change in Cuba,’’ U.K. envoy Paul Johnston said in a speech on behalf of the European body.

“Never before, as in the past 18 months, was the blockade enforced with so much viciousness and brutality,’’ Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said. “There has been a hysterical, unprecedented escalation in the enforcement of new and aggressive measures, including the threat to use military means against Cuba.’‘

Roque said the embargo has cost Cuba $82 billion in lost income during the past 42 years.

He said Cuba would ultimately overcome the “the helpless haughtiness of President Bush, which has taken him farther than anyone else in this madness.’‘

To contact the reporter of this story:
Bill Varner at the United Nations at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Member Comments

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On November 09, 2005, publisher wrote:

What a great ambassador! He must have gone to the James Cason school of diplomacy where people learn to say and do stupid things and to disrespect the organization or country where they work.

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On November 09, 2005, crp236 wrote:

People will say that John Bolton is “irelevant.” The U.S. Senate would not confirm him, and Bush had to rely on a recess appointment.

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On November 10, 2005, waldo wrote:

ARROGANTE BOLTON HUYE DE LA ONU CON EL RABO ENTRE LAS PATAS

El embajador de Estados Unidos ante la ONU, John Bolton, escapû la víspera a una arrolladora votaciûn internacional contra el bloqueo impuesto a Cuba por Washington, en un gesto considerado hoy aquí como sintomático.

Bolton se mantuvo ausente durante la sesiûn de la Asamblea General dedicada a debatir un tema de notable incumbencia para la administraciûn del presidente George W. Bush como es el bloqueo econûmico impuesto al pequeño estado caribeño por más de 45 años.

En una votaciûn record registrada en los últimos 14 años consecutivos de discusiones sobre ese tema, la Asamblea rechazû ayer esa medida hostil de Washington por marcador de 182 a favor, cuatro en contra y una abstenciûn.

Según se confirmo hoy, Bolton prefiriû asistir a una reuniûn rutinaria del Consejo de Seguridad sobre Irak antes que soportar en la Asamblea General el virtual aluviûn de repudio internacional a esa medida hostil.

Consultado por la prensa en esta sede, Bolton tratû de restar importancia a la casi unánime votaciûn de este año contra el bloqueo econûmico, financiero y comercial que su gobierno mantiene sobre Cuba al calificarla de ‘acciûn completamente irrelevante’.

A juicio de funcionarios diplomáticos en ONU, la ausencia de Bolton en esos debates puede ser un sintomático indicio de que a estas alturas Washington carece de argumentos para defender esa política agresiva contra Cuba.

En ausencia de Bolton, el enviado estadounidense Ronald Godard leyû una breve declaraciûn en la que reiterû viejos ataques contra Cuba y que el tema del bloqueo es un asunto bilateral entre Washington y la Habana en el cual la ONU nada tiene que ver.

Antes de partir de regreso a Cuba, el ministro del Exterior de ese país, Felipe PÈrez Roque, dijo que lo dicho por el enviado Godars fue ‘una diatriba vacía de argumentos’.

‘Ellos, (el gobierno estadounidense) mienten, ofenden, tergiversan, porque no tienen un solo argumento, no tienen una sola razûn’, expresû PÈrez Roque.

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On November 10, 2005, crp236 wrote:

Waldo: Muy bueno el articulo. Estoy de acuerdo.

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On November 10, 2005, jesusp wrote:

These are the same people that, in part, justified their invasion of Iraq on the argument that Iraq ignored U.N. resolutions. How about that for hipocresy!

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On November 11, 2005, waldo wrote:

And Double Standards, and Arrogance, and Sinisism, and Destroying the Credibility of a Great Nation, and What Not.