Friday, October 30, 2009

The UN vote

A few notes after reading some of the documents and clippings about the UN vote:

  • This annual event is really a demonstration of Havana’s relentlessness when it comes to multilateral diplomacy. The U.S. embargo is a very important theme in its political messaging at home and abroad, and the debate on this resolution raises the issue to a high profile every fall. It forces a discussion in the UN, it forces the U.S. government to address the issue, and the whole event resonates in Cuba, so that Cubans see that virtually the whole world votes “yes” on a resolution that their government proposes. And beyond the vote there’s the resolution’s feature of an annual report (pdf), which results in an annual compilation of governments’ and international agencies’ views on the embargo and its impact.

  • Only Israel and Palau voted with the United States. I have never heard anyone ask an Israeli official for an explanation, but Israel’s vote has always seemed tongue-in-cheek to me – “We’ll vote with the Americans, and we’ll keep on investing in Cuba.”

  • If you’re wondering about the Palau, Australian radio put the question to Sandra S. Pierantozzi, the Republic of Palau’s Minister of State in this interview. The minister refused to tie the vote to Palau’s request for $225 million in U.S. aid over the next 15 years, but she indicated that the U.S. offer of $156 million is “not acceptable for our people.”

  • The two new votes in favor of the resolution are El Salvador (the new FMLN government) and Iraq.

  • Who lost the Marshall Islands? Blame it on the Bush Administration; that country last voted with the United States in 2007 and now abstains.

  • Speaking of forcing the issue, the statements of the State Department spokesman and Ambassador Rice are interesting. The Cuban use of the term “genocide” is way out of bounds and deserved rebuke. And the Obama Administration is right to tout its diplomatic contacts with Cuba and its liberalization of some Cuba regulations. But the shots at “Cold War” rhetoric are kind of funny in defense of a Kennedy Administration policy. Ambassador Rice talked about policies based on humanitarian concern for the Cuban people, holding up U.S. agricultural sales and private humanitarian aid as emblems of our virtue. Let’s hope the Administration, with that concern in mind – not to mention its aversion to Cold War relics – further defines its policies on the kinds of trade that should be permitted and the degree of contact that should be allowed between our societies. Finally, the Administration completely let pass the Cuban contention that the U.S. embargo goes beyond bilateral economic relations and effectively disrupts other countries’ commerce with Cuba.


Karamchand said...

Desde mucho ha, las dos palabras empleadas para designar la prohibición de comerciar con Cuba en la ley norteamericana, la una embargo, usada por EEUU y la otra, bloqueo, usada por el gobierno cubano; me han llamado la atención, cuando he escrito sobre esto en mi blog, he usado ambas por no saber cual de ellas se ajusta al efecto de la ley americana sobre Cuba. Hoy finalmente, leyendo este blog he tratado de leerme la resolución, sólo he podido ver el encabezamiento, porque es un .pdf y el enlace no apunta hacia un lugar específico, apunta a una busqueda; pero ya ver el comienzo de ambos, primero intenté con el inglés, que es el enlazado aqui, luego con la versión en español, se nota la pata peluda de la dictadura cubana asomando en el entuerto; mientras la versión en español le llama bloqueo (incorrectamente, ya se verá), la versión en inglés le llama embargo, palabra existente en español y que es el equivalente de embargo en inglés, son idénticas y significan lo mismo. Entre las megalomanías del dictador, ha estado la de cambiar a su coveninecia, no sólo las palabras, es buenorecordar a que extremos puede llevar la tal, sino, ¡el tiempo!, a principios de este siglo, el orate en jefe, como cosencuencia del desastroso estado energético en la isla, proclamo la continuación del horario de verano hasta el año siguiente; ahora, con la palabra de marras, sucede parecido, he consultado el diccionario RAE de la Enciclopedia Encarta y el Oxford Superlex, los cuales traducen en ambos sentidos los dos idiomas, del español al inglés y viceversa, en ambos no existe relación entre embargo y bloqueo, incluso, la acepción de las palbras se incluyen mutuamente en ellas, es decir, embargo no significa en ninguna de sus acepciones bloqueo y bloqueo no significa embargo tampoco en ninguna de las acepciones; por el significado y más que esto, por la realidad del suceso entre EEUU y Cuba, la palbra adecuada es embargo, como concluiría cualquiera que leyera estas acepciones.
(continuo este post en mi blog, sólo admiten 4096 caracteres)

Anonymous said...

It is NOT a 'contention' that the embargo has extra-territorial applications. it is a fact.
typical american centric justification for lessening the impact of the embargo.

it is extremely easy to find countless examples of how businesses in other countries have been affected by this criminal embargo.

but then the united states never treated this policy, or any other, as a foreign relations issues, it is simply a national matter and that's why they ignore the UN and the rest of the world.

genocide may be a strong term, but then how do you describe something that is shortening the lives of children, as per many international reports.

there is NO other justification for the embargo and all other american policies against cuba to continue except for one reason -- america's desire to regain interest in cuba's economic and political affairs. anyone who doesnt believe that is a fool or idiot, and anyone who still supports the embargo is both, and worse.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's right, bootlicker. We all lie awake at night -- even President Obama -- thinking about how to "regain interest [sic] in cuba's economic and political affairs."


Anonymous said...

When the embargo is lifted, what type of fire-power is Fidel left with to inoculate into the brainless masses? Even with this, the party line will still proceed in its typical vilifying decree against the U.S., its principal adversary that has served the necessary function of sustaining the Revolucion, sustaining the motivations of the masses. It is a communist paradise for a reason, and will retain the people until death to the Revolucion, not the embargo. You will see this transpire sooner than later, I believe. Freedom and independence perhaps will materialize much further down the line, once the masses are enlightened. This might be a good time to munch on a snikers bar. Good day.

El Odio