UN embargo vote approaches — Cuba steps up diplomacy

New Videos from Cuba

October 24, 2008
Dear Friend:

Watch the United Nations next week.

On Wednesday, October 29, the UN General Assembly will vote for the
seventeenth consecutive year on a resolution condemning the United
States’ embargo on Cuba. Last year, the resolution was adopted by a
vote of 184-4. The outcome, this year, is not really in doubt. The
question, as before, is whether anyone in our government – now, or in
the next administration – is listening.

Our nation has tried for fifty years to replace Cuba’s government
with one more to our liking. Diplomatic and economic sanctions have
been the principal instrument of this policy. Ten American presidents,
starting with Eisenhower, have pursued this goal. President Bush will
leave office having tried and failed to achieve regime change. The
next president will inherit a failed and futile policy that hurts
Cubans and sullies our nation’s image around the world.

The UN debate takes place against the backdrop of Cuba recovering
from four hurricanes and tropical storms that caused $5 billion and
more in devastation.

Our discredited sanctions policy is now being used to block the sale
of construction materials to repair Cuba’s housing stock, and to block
Cuban-American families from helping their relatives on the island with
the process of recovery. Only a few US hard-headed policy makers are
hard-hearted enough to view a policy like this with satisfaction. More
and more of us view it as a national disgrace. A strong majority of
Americans want our Cuba policy to change.

The vote in the General Assembly also comes six days before our
election. In years past, Americans have held the UN in low regard and
paid it little heed. This year could be different. Our policy toward
Cuba leaves the United States increasingly isolated at a moment in our
history when we can ill afford to go it alone. Were the United States
to replace our policy of sanctions with one of engagement, we would
have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

We are reminded of these issues by these highlights in our news summary:

· The UN providing $30 million more in hurricane relief
· Cuba and European Union reestablish cooperation
· Cuba and Mexico sign new migration agreements
· Cuba speaks out on the upcoming UN vote

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