UN to give overwhelming but non-binding support for lifting Cuba embargo again

UN to give overwhelming but non-binding support for lifting Cuba embargo again

The UN General Assembly will go through a familiar exercise today as it votes on a non-binding resolution to condemn

cuba embarge un general assembly vote

Photo: Chine Nouvelle/SIPA/Newscom

The UN General Assembly will go through a familiar exercise today as it votes on a non-binding resolution to condemn the US trade embargo against Cuba.

Today’s vote will mark the 27th consecutive year in which Havana has tabled the resolution and, like the last 26 times, it’s expected to pass with overwhelming support. The US has voted no on the resolution every year except 2016, when the Barack Obama administration abstained in light of warming ties.

Despite overwhelming international support in favour of removing the 56-year old embargo, only Congress can lift it. This is particularly unlikely now—relations between Washington and Havana have deteriorated under President Donald Trump. Over the past 18 months, diplomats have routinely clashed, while trade and travel restrictions have been tightened once more.

Meanwhile, Cuba’s economic outlook remains grim. The reimposition of tougher trade policies by the US has stifled growth prospects—a mere 1.1% expansion is expected in 2018, while exports and imports have fallen by some 25% over the past five years. With tourism also down and efforts to attract foreign investment receiving only lukewarm interest, today’s vote will be a hollow victory for Havana.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.