Wednesday, September 30, 2020

International Community Expresses its Disapproval of Current US-Cuba Relations

Cuba-Habana_malecon

The United Nations General Assembly voted 187 to 3 on Wednesday to express opposition to the US embargo against Cuba, which has stood since 1961.  It is the 19th consecutive year in which the international community has condemned the American policy.

What is unique about this year’s vote is that for the first time the United States has been isolated as the only country in the Western Hemisphere to support the embargo.  With a recent shift in Salvadorian foreign policy, only Israel and the tiny Pacific nation of Palau continue to support the American policy toward Cuba.  The pressure is now on the Obama administration to address a longstanding irritant of US-Latin America relations.  In a recent statement, Geoff Thale of the Washington Office on Latin America remarked that “earlier this year at the Summit of the Americas, President Obama spoke of the progress that can be made when our hemisphere’s leaders ‘break free of stale debates’… It is time to demonstrate a commitment to this important principle and shift U.S. policy toward Cuba into a new era.”

Not only has the US policy toward Cuba been solidly rebuked by the international community, but it appears to be increasingly unpopular among Americans as well.  The Washington-based Latin America Working Group reports that 67 percent of Americans support lifting the travel ban on Cuba.  What is even more indicative a changing tide in public opinion is a recent Bendixen poll which found that 59 percent of Cuban Americans support the right of all Americans to travel to the island.

Many who favor an improvement of US-Cuba relations are optimistic about the Obama administration and its progressive approach to foreign policy, particularly when it comes to engaging governments that have historically been at odds with the United States.  While Cuba remains a country that lacks many of the freedoms that Americans hold dear, the existing policy toward the island has yielded few positive results in the last 50 years.  It is a fact that begs the question:  When will the United States reevaluate its strategy for dealing with one of its closest neighbors?

Washington Office on Latin America

Latin America Working Group

 

Comments

  1. The Cuban embargo has not worked, let’s try something different. As a Cuban-American I firmly am against the embargo..the international community has spoken and its about time the U.S. stands up against its failed policy. Castro only uses it as a scapegoat. I suspect Obama will wait though to lift the embargo. Time will tell.

  2. As Juanes said, “Es tiempo de cambiar el odio por amor”! Its time to change!