Cuba submits latest draft UN resolution against US embargo

AP News
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Posted: Oct 09, 2015 6:06 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The latest draft United Nations resolution urging the United States to end its economic embargo on Cuba has appeared — and it points out President Barack Obama's commitment to end the policy.

The draft has been posted online, and a vote in the General Assembly is expected Oct. 27.

The draft also welcomes the re-establishment of U.S.-Cuba diplomatic ties this year.

Cuba has introduced draft resolutions against the embargo for the past 23 years, and they've been adopted with increasingly overwhelming and embarrassing margins. Last year's vote was 188-2, with only Israel siding with the U.S.

This year, Obama administration officials have indicated that the U.S. might take the unprecedented step of abstaining instead. But spokesmen have declined to comment until the text was final. There was no immediate comment Friday.

Obama has said the 54-year-old restrictions have failed to spur democratic change and have left the U.S. isolated among its Latin American neighbors.

The Republican-led House of Representatives and Senate have refused to repeal the embargo.

General Assembly resolutions are unenforceable, but the annual vote has underscored the sense internationally that the U.S. restrictions are illegitimate.

The vote comes amid increasing contact between top U.S. and Cuban officials. Late last month, Obama held talks with Cuban President Raul Castro, the second time the leaders of the once-estranged nations have met this year.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker wrapped up a visit to Cuba on Wednesday by noting Obama's interest in seeing the embargo lifted but warning that it won't happen quickly.

A report issued by Cuba last month in support of this year's U.N. resolution says the embargo has cost the Cuban people $833.7 billion. Washington says the communist government has used the embargo as an excuse for its own economic failures.