Sinn Féin’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD, welcomed that 191 countries supported a UN resolution calling for an end to the USA’s blockade of Cuba and that the USA abstained from voting against the annual resolution for the very first time.

Deputy Crowe said:

“The US Government first imposed economic, commercial, and financial restrictions on Cuba in October 1960 shortly after the 1959 Cuban Revolution.

“The 56 year old blockade directly violates the Charter of the United Nations and international law, which reaffirms the freedom of trade and navigation. This unilateral measure imposed against Cuba has cost the island billions of dollars and its human impact is incalculable.

“This is the 25th year in a row that the UN has voted to support a resolution calling for the lifting of the USA’s illegal blockade of Cuba. Last year only Israel and the USA voted against it, and I want to welcome that they abstained and adopted a different approach this year, and crucially no country voted against the resolution on 26 October.

“Sadly the resolution is non-binding, and despite the re-establishment of diplomatic relations and the progress in this area, the reality is that the US economic, commercial and financial blockade continues to operate on a daily basis against the Cuban people.

“Normal relations between two sovereign countries cannot exist while one is kept under an unfair and brutal blockade.

“The embargo against Cuba is illegal and inhumane, and it must be removed unilaterally and unconditionally.”