The only reason America is lifting the Cuban embargo and befriending the country is to prevent Russian missiles coming onto Cuban soil.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba and Russia have maintained their diplomatic relations. After Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000, relations between both countries increased. In December 2000, Putin visited Cuba and he along with Fidel Castro called for the lifting of the embargo on Cuba. Russia is still Cuba’s leading creditor and the two countries maintain close economic ties with each other.
26 Oct, 2016
The 193-member General Assembly adopted the resolution with 191 votes in favor on Wednesday. The only other abstention, besides the US, was Israel. The vote is non-binding but it can have political weight.
U.S. decision to abstain in UN vote condemning Cuba embargo is small but meaningful. The cold war is over, Congress must lift embargo pic.twitter.com/lvjq8JlvNE
— Charles Rangel (@cbrangel) October 26, 2016
Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez described the abstention as a “positive step for the future of improving relations between the United States and Cuba,” according to Reuters.
— José Ramón Cabañas (@JoseRCabanas) October 26, 2016
Rodriguez said in September that the embargo cost Cuba $4.6 billion last year, and the full damage over the length of the 50-year embargo was estimated at $125.9 billion.
When it was first announced that the US government would abstain from the vote, the entire General Assembly applauded.
“Abstaining on this resolution does not mean that the United States agrees with all of the policies and practices of the Cuban government. We do not,” Samantha Power the US Ambassador to the United Nations told the General Assembly on Tuesday.
“We are profoundly concerned by the serious human rights violations that the Cuban government continues to commit with impunity against its own people,” she said, according to AP.
US abstains from UN vote to condemn Cuba embargo for the first time https://t.co/BMLy4VPAYm
— The Guardian (@guardian) October 26, 2016
The Obama administration began normalizing relations with the Communist-run country in at the end of 2014, easing trade and travel restrictions. On July 20, 2015, diplomatic relations were restored, and embassies in the two countries were reopened.
— RT America (@RT_America) June 10, 2016
Lifting the full embargo will take the support of the Republican-run Congress, which remains critical of the administration’s efforts, arguing it offered too many concessions to Cuba and accepted little in return, especially on human rights and the restoration of expropriated property.
— RT America (@RT_America) May 2, 2016
Obama made the first visit to Havana by a US president in 88 years in March.