Cuba is not alone

On June 23, 2021 the United States was one of two nations that voted against a United Nations UN) resolution condemning the embargo on Cuba. Israel was the other opposing vote. There were 184 nations voting in favor.

Most member states and citizens around the world feel that the embargo on the island nation of Cuba is outdated, unnecessary and worthy of condemnation. Many members feel that the United States’ current stance on Cuba is barbaric and a remnant of the cruel competition of the Cold War. For decades, this same resolution has been passed without much disagreement from other parties. Many ambassadors and representatives from member countries shared their opinions regarding why the embargo is unnecessary and the need to lift it.

Antonio Rodrigue, ambassador of Haiti, was quoted in the New York Times, stating: “The lifting of the economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed against Cuba would improve the prospects for peace, cooperation, and development in the region.”

Many other representatives voiced their opinions which are strikingly similar to that of the ambassador of Haiti. They feel that the embargo should be lifted and in doing so, the Cuban people would begin to see improvements in their quality of life as well as potential for progress.

Representatives from Azerbaijan, speaking for the Non-Aligned movement, felt that the United States is solitary in the continuation of the embargo. The most recent deviation from the usual “no” by the United States was the Obama administration’s choice to abstain from voting.

The blockade has been devastating during the COVID-19 pandemic, given Cuba’s need of syringes for vaccine distribution. During the pandemic, other nations actually followed suit and stopped trading with Cuba in fear that the United States would place sanctions on them as well.

This recent resolution and the United States’ opposition to it show that the Biden administration is not that interested in reversing some of the foreign policy decisions made by the preceding administration.

Though the recent resolution passed, the United States still has not lifted their embargo on Cuba. In fact, they’ve continued to keep restrictions on Cuba and their capabilities as a nation -- restrictions that are from the Trump administration that have continued under the current Biden administration. Trump had placed several sanctions on Cuba prior to leaving office. Biden has not lifted them nor tried to move forward in some form of conflict resolution and reconciliation.

The Cuban people see the two US administrations as indistinguishable, given their unwillingness to reverse and even reconcile with Cuba. The Cuban people are certainly able to progress forward with innovations in medicine, education, and other categories. Cuba has the potential to aid many nations to end the pandemic. Ending the blockade would improve the quality of life for Cubans, create opportunities for nations on both sides, and incubate, instead of inhibit, growth for the Cuban people.