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Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:13AM
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez speaks during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly on October 1, 2012.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez speaks during the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly on October 1, 2012.

The United Nations General Assembly has voted, for the 21st year in a row, to denounce the United States’ trade embargo against the Republic of Cuba. On Tuesday, a record 188 countries at the General Assembly voted to condemn the five-decade old US sanctions against Cuba. The United States, Israel, and the Republic of Palau voted against the UN resolution while the Marshall Islands and Micronesia abstained. Speaking at the General Assembly, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez condemned "the inhuman, failed, and anachronistic policy of 11 successive US administrations." Havana and Washington have been at odds since the Cuban revolution, led by Fidel Castro, toppled Fulgencio Batista’s regime in 1959. The United States imposed a partial trade embargo on the Caribbean island nation in October 1960. Washington imposed a full trade embargo on Cuba in February 1962. "Keeping this policy in force is not in the national interest of the United States. Quite on the contrary, it harms the interests of its citizens and companies -- especially in times of economic crisis and high unemployment -- which, according to every poll, are demanding a change of policy," Rodriguez said. "What's the point of encroaching on the constitutional and civil rights and the freedom of travel of Americans by preventing them from visiting the island when they can visit any other place in the planet, including those where their country is waging wars?" he added. Elsewhere in his remarks, the Cuban foreign minister stated that after the 2008 election, US President Barack Obama had promised a new beginning with Cuba but "the reality of the last four years has been characterized by a persistent tightening of the economic, commercial, and financial blockade." GJH/HGL
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