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UN General Assembly votes against US embargo on Cuba

For the 22nd year in a row, the UNGA has voted against the embargo.
Posted By Caroline Lee Follow @cmlee Contact the Author   |   Oct. 30, 2013 at 6:08 PM
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(UPI) -- Member nations at the United Nations General Assembly voted against the United States' economic and trade embargo for the 22nd consecutive year.

By a vote of 188 to 2 -- only the U.S. and Israel approving -- the 193-member body approved a resolution presented by Havana that accuses the U.S. of causing a loss of more than $1.126 trillion as a result of a half-century of trade sanctions.

The Obama administration had been expected to budge on the embargo this year as part of a new policy toward the Caribbean island. Cuban officials said instead sanctions have been tightened, especially ones concerning banks.

Since Obama took office in 2009, the U.S. has loosened restrictions on travel to Cuba, but fines against embargo violators have risen. The U.S. has defended the embargo, saying that it is a tool to promote respect for civil and human rights in Cuba.

Critics of the embargo, including UN member countries, have said the embargo harms ordinary people while doing nothing to end the rule of Castro.

The UNGA vote is not enforceable, and diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States are unlikely to improve any time soon.

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