UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- There is "no legitimate" reason for the U.S. government to maintain a sweeping set of sanctions against Cuba, the Cuban foreign minister said.
The U.S. government in 1960 imposed a series of embargoes against the Cuban government in response to the nationalization of U.S. properties. With a communist regime in power following a revolution, the embargoes were tightened further in 1962.
"There is no legitimate or moral reason to maintain this blockade," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla said. "The blockade is one of the main causes of the economic problems of our country and the major obstacle to its economic and social development."
In a vote in the U.N. General Assembly, 188 member states voted in favor of a resolution calling on the United States to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade.
The General Assembly has voted in favor of such a resolution every year since 1991. Ronald Godard, a U.S. official at the United Nations, accused members of looking for a "scapegoat" for Cuba's economic problems.
"Regarding Cuba, the priority of President Barack Obama's administration was to empower Cubans to determine their own future," he said.