The United Nations General Assembly voted on Tuesday on a resolution calling on Washington to end its embargo on Cuba. 191 of 193 countries voted for the resolution — 99 percent of the member states.Perhaps a reader here can explain to me why this embargo continues to exist. Presumably it involves corporate $$$$$$$$$.
For the 24th year in a row, the U.S. and its allies were the only nations to vote against the measure. For the 24th year in a row, the U.S. has utterly defied the will of the entire international community.
An embargo of sugar, oil, and weapons was first imposed on Cuba by President Eisenhower in 1960. In 1962, two years later, the Kennedy administration expanded the embargo to impede virtually all imports...
The Obama administration has often tried to differentiate itself from the Bush administration by appealing to rhetoric concerning international law. Yet votes like these prove such statements to be hollow. Behind the veneer of Obama’s emphasis on international rules and norms is the cold logic of empire: The U.S., as the global economic and military hegemon, will do what it wants, when it wants.
Addendum. Here is a succinct and informed explanation provided by reader Con:
The word "embargo" is used by the US government, but in Cuba and other Latin American states it is known (more accurately) as a "blockade". The blockade is in fact illegal under international law as it extends far beyond restricting trade between the US and Cuba, imposing harsh sanctions on those outside of the US who would dare to trade freely with Cuba (i.e. an "extra-territorial" measure). Companies have been fined and had assets expropriated and the legal rights infringed in all manner of ways. Canada even has a law which is aimed to circumvent the application of the relevant US extra-territorial law as it applies to Canada; the "Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act."
The blockade began during the Cold War and was designed to isolate Cuba and damage its economy, in order to undermine its socialist government and return it to the US sphere of influence. It was initially very successful, with almost every other country in the Americas breaking relations with Cuba, the exceptions being Canada and Mexico. The blockade was aimed not only at the Cuban people, but implicitly at any other Latin American nation which might have opted for socialism.
Cuba survived by trading with the USSR and Eastern European trading bloc (the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, CMEA) and with China. After the collapse of the European socialist bloc, many supporters of the blockade had high hopes that the Cuban revolution would collapse, but instead it weathered the storm, and is now stronger than ever.
Over the decades the blockade has lost more and more ground in the rest of the Americas; and more generally, since the collapse of all the US-backed military regimes which were once so common, the prestige and political and military power of the US throughout the Americas has been eroded dramatically. Now it's the US which is isolated. Cuba has good diplomatic relations now with every other country in the Americas, and is increasingly connected to the wider Latin American economic system, and even, in some ways, a central component of it. Cuba is one of the main forces in the ALBA trading bloc that includes several countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean, and also has good trade links to Brazil. In recent years a submarine fibre optic cable linking Cuba and Jamaica to the South American mainland has broken the telecommunications blockade.
It has reached the point where the Obama administration has recognised the failure of their Cold War policy and are now negotiating an end to it. They have re-established diplomatic relations with the island, but the blockade is the biggest issue which needs to be resolved before relations are fully normalized. The other biggie being the illegal US military occupation of Guantanamo Bay, where they have a naval base, and the infamous prison camp and torture facility.