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article imageUS vows to again oppose UN vote against Cuba embargo

By AFP     Oct 31, 2017 in Politics

The United States will once again vote against an annual UN resolution condemning its embargo against Cuba, one year after it abstained for the first time in a quarter of a century.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters that US Ambassador Nikki Haley would oppose the measure when Cuba brings it before the General Assembly on Wednesday.

"We've historically voted against that resolution. Last year, the United States abstained," Nauert said, looking back on a 26-year ritual that has seen Washington isolated on the issue.

"Ambassador Haley will be reversing last year's abstention and will be voting against the resolution this year," she said.

Nauert explained that the vote, which will likely see Haley in a minority of one or two in the General Assembly, would underscore President Donald Trump's new Cuba policy.

"The Trump policy on Cuba gives greater emphasis to advancing human rights and democracy in Cuba while maintaining engagement that serves US national interests," she said.

Trump's predecessor, former president Barack Obama, oversaw slowly warming ties with Havana and a loosening of the trade embargo, symbolized by last year's decision to abstain.

But Trump has tightened up some of the openings that had begun to appear in the embargo and has hardened the tone against the communist-run island, casting a new chill on ties.

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