An exchange at yesterday’s State Department press briefing between reporters and spokesman Ian Kelly:
QUESTION: Speaking of the UN, the General Assembly had its annual vote today on the
MR. KELLY: I think one was
QUESTION: I don’t know. I think it – it’s usually, generally, the
QUESTION: I thought it was
QUESTION: Or was that about
MR. KELLY: All right. Well, let me give you the guidance on this. The
QUESTION: Sorry. Wood?
MR. KELLY: Wood.
MR. KELLY: Sanctions is one part of the
QUESTION: But, I mean, you have no opinion on the fact that the rest of the world thinks that this is a bad way to go?
MR. KELLY: Well --
QUESTION: That the whole world – I mean,
MR. KELLY: This – it seems to me to be an annual exercise that --
QUESTION: It’s an annual exercise to tell you that the rest of the world thinks --
MR. KELLY: -- seems to be – kind of has inertia from the Cold War. The suggestion that we’re not assisting
QUESTION: Well, it seems that the rest of the world thinks that, in fact, if you were to lift the embargo, that could help the repression – lift it.
MR. KELLY: Well, we don’t think it’s time to lift that embargo. The – we will consider that when the Government of Cuba starts to make some positive steps towards loosening up its repression of its own people.
QUESTION: Ian, without getting into a philosophical and – especially a lengthy or philosophical debate about this, you said that this, as an annual exercise, is a Cold War remnant.
MR. KELLY: Yeah.
QUESTION: Well, there a lot of people who would argue that the embargo is a Cold War remnant. I mean, this is the first year that this vote has happened, where you’ve been in this tiny minority that you are – that the
MR. KELLY: Well, I mean, we – our policy in
QUESTION: Having said that --
MR. KELLY: -- a productive dialogue.
QUESTION: -- how long has the embargo been in place now?
MR. KELLY: I think it’s been in place almost 50 years.
QUESTION: Yeah, yeah.
MR. KELLY: Well, that’s a long time to have a repressive system.
QUESTION: Well, it’s also a long time to have a policy that has produced absolutely no results.
MR. KELLY: Well, we’re – we are looking to try and put our relationship – with
Yes, go ahead.