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Thursday 2nd
posted by James Tweedie in World

DEVELOPING nations lined up to condemn the US blockade of Cuba at the UN yesterday after Donald Trump renewed decades-long hostility towards the socialist island.

Latin American and Caribbean regional bloc Celac, Asia’s Asean, the Group of 77 and African nations all urged an end to the unilateral embargo in place for more than 50 years, the Cuban News Agency reported.

The US State Department said on Tuesday that it would reverse last year’s decision by the Obama government to abstain in the vote after 24 years.

But the UN general assembly voted 191 to two in favour of the motion, with only the US and Israel against.

Singapore, representing Asean, backed the motion on the “Need to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.”

Gabon’s representative pointed out that the general assembly has repeatedly urged the US to end its blockade, with only Israel, the Marshall Islands and Palau willing to back Washington in the last decade.

El Salvador’s representative said the blockade hinders Cuba’s development and is against the declaration of the region as a “zone of peace.”

On behalf of the G77 and China, Ecuador’s ambassador regretted the recent reversal of Mr Obama’s limited detente with Cuba.

In her speech yesterday, hawkish US ambassador Nikki Haley said: “What the general assembly is doing today — what it does every year at this time — is political theatre.”

“This assembly does not have the power to end the US embargo,” she insisted. “It is based in US law, which only the United States Congress can change.”