Every year for the past 23 years Cuba has introduced a resolution at the UN’s General Assembly criticizing the US embargo against Cuba and demanding its end. The US has lost all previous UN votes by an overwhelming margin. Last year’s tally was 188-2 with only Israel siding with the US. This year, Obama may be reversing a foreign policy tool of 10 previous US presidents.
For next month’s UN vote over the US embargo against Cuba, Obama officials have told the AP that the US could abstain instead of voting against an embargo resolution as it normally does. If so, the Obama administration would be siding with a long-standing UN consensus and against the Republican-led House and Senate, which have failed to repeal the embargo despite numerous public requests from Obama to do so.
“Obviously, we have to obey the law,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters Monday. “It doesn’t mean you can’t take a position that you want the law changed.”
According to the AP, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American senator from Florida, said that by abstaining, Obama would be “putting international popularity ahead of the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”