AP reports: “The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to condemn the U.S. commercial, economic and financial embargo against Cuba for the 21st year in a row. The final tally Tuesday was 188-3, with Israel and Palau joining the United States.”
SAUL LANDAU [email]
Professor emeritus at California State University, Pomona, Landau is a senior fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and has won numerous awards for the 40 films he has produced, several of which are about Cuba. He said today: “We look like idiots to the whole world. Every year, virtually the entire United Nations General Assembly votes against us.
“The embargo is 52 years old, started by Eisenhower, and formalized by Kennedy. What should we say — give it time?
“It stays partly because of the influence of right-wing Cubans in Miami, but they’ve been weakened with the recent loss of David Rivera. The other half of it is the apparent desire of the State Department to punish Cuba for disobedience. It’s funding AID programs to foster ‘civil society’ — but the Cubans rejected the civil society they had with Batista and dominated by the mafia. Civil society, a term no one seems to look up, according to Rousseau, is based around the bourgeoisie and protecting property. The Cubans have built a different society based on social justice and equality. They are privatizing some, but it’s unlikely that will change.”
IAN WILLIAMS [email]
Williams is a senior analyst with Foreign Policy in Focus and author of Rum: A Social & Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776, and The UN For Beginners. He said today: “The UN vote on the Cuba embargo reminds us yet again that U.S. foreign policy is concocted in a bubble detached from the real world, where most nations recognize that the boycott is designed to pander to the most reactionary Cuban emigres in Florida. Even dissidents in Cuba think that it is counterproductive, giving the Cuban government an excuse for its inefficiencies, while, like most such sanctions, harming more the population than those in power. Obama, embarking on a second term, and winning Florida despite the Cuban vote, owes them nothing. He should use his influence to call off the embargo and allow free travel to and from Cuba.”