North Korea and Syria Applaud, as Cuba Bullies America at the UN
Never mind that since last December President Obama has been falling all over himself to please and appease Cuba's Castro regime. He has failed to come up with arguments compelling enough to persuade Congress to lift the embargo on Cuba. So, while pocketing Obama's concessions, Havana has been complaining to the United Nations General Assembly that the U.S. embargo is still in place. On Tuesday, the General Assembly continued its annual tradition of approving a resolution slamming the U.S., urging the tailoring of U.S. law to UN interests, and demanding that the U.S. embargo be lifted. As usual, the resolution passed with near total support, the tally this year being 191 in favor, 2 against -- the two holdouts being the U.S. itself, plus Israel (which, as a loyal ally, voted with the U.S.).
Lest anyone think this is some clearcut case in which the UN collective is right, and the U.S. is wrong, let's be clear on what this vote is really about. It is not actually about Cuba per se, or the embargo. Cuba is a tyranny that routinely violates the principles of the UN charter, without incurring protest by the eminences of the UN. And Cuba has had abundant opportunity for years to trade with most of the world. The real constraint on its economy is Castroite communism, not the leaky barrier of the U.S. trade embargo. In this long-running saga, the Castro regime is not the victim. It is the villain.
But the UN's thug-heavy General Assembly is not, as a rule, much concerned with the realities of right and wrong, nor do most of its member states give a hoot for the human rights ideals enshrined -- or should we say, entombed -- in the UN charter. This vote is a chance to beat up the U.S.; an annual rite in which Cuba leads the mob. Among the countries celebrating the passage of the resolution were such stars of the UN firmament as North Korea, which in 2013 was caught red-handed smuggling from Cuba a huge stash of munitions, hidden under bags of sugar aboard the freighter Chong Chon Gang. In an explanation of the vote, as summarized by the UN, North Korea's envoy shared with the eminences of the UN his government's concern that the U.S. embargo on Cuba "was hampering the peaceful and stable development of the region."
Sudan, whose president is under indictment by the International Criminal Court, also spoke up against the embargo, calling it a violation of international law. Belarus, one of Russia's weapons-dealing despotic sidekicks, told the assembly that "it was the inalienable right of each country to decide its own model of development without interference in its internal political system by military or political means." The barrel-bombing chemical-weapons-using government of war-wracked Syria lamented "the inhuman nature of the embargo," and threw in a complaint that "coercive measures had also been taken against Syria, negatively affecting its economy." Zimbabwe and Laos lectured America on the rights of the Castro regime. For the world's developed democracies, it ought to be an embarrassment to vote in lockstep with this gang. But in the horse-trading at the UN, Cuba has made an art of out-sized influence -- and along with a cost-free chance to stick a thumb in America's eye, there is of course the aging romance of those old Che Guevara posters, especially for those who do not have to live under the brutal system he espoused.
Cuba itself, which introduced the resolution, skipped right past the ruinous effects of 59 years of Fidel and Raul Castro's murderous communism, and instead accused the U.S. of causing $121 billion in economic damages.