News just broke that the United States has voted against a U.N. resolution condemning America's economic embargo against Cuba. This marks a clear change in direction, reversing last year's abstention by the Obama administration, which was intended to improve the relationship between the United States and Cuba.
In particular, this vote displays a clear change in direction under the Trump administration, which clearly rejects the approach toward Cuba pursued by Obama.
The Associated Press remarks that this latest vote in the United Nations reflects worsening ties between Cuba and the US.
Last year, then-President Barack Obama decided that it would be best to abstain from the vote. This was the first time in 25 years, and it immediately followed the restoration of U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba in July of 2016. Improving diplomatic relations was widely noted as a historic move by the Obama administration. This is because relations had been broken since 1961 after Fidel Castro took power and installed a communist government in Cuba, who until that point in time had been ruled by an authoritarian right-wing government propped up by the US.
Many in the United States government hold the opinion that the US should continue its embargo and refuse to open diplomatic ties until the people of Cuba are no longer oppressed by their communist government.
So how long must tensions remain between Cuba and the United States? "As long as the Cuban people continue to be deprived of their human rights," answers U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who wholeheartedly backs the latest U.S. vote. Her answer reflects the historic attitude of most Americans, as well as most prominent members of both the Democratic and Republican party.
The Washington Post reports that the resolution was overwhelmingly approved in the 193-member General Assembly on Wednesday. It was only the United States, with the support of Israel, who voted "no."
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