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Haley: Cuba Vote Just 'One More Time' UN Members 'Feel They Can Poke U.S. in the Eye'

Cuba's President of the Council of Ministers Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermudez addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Ambassador Nikki Haley lashed out at the United Nations’ annual condemnation of the U.S. embargo on Cuba as “one more time that countries feel they can poke the United States in the eye.”

“You are literally hurting the Cuban people by telling the regime that their treatment of their people is acceptable. For 27 years we’ve had this debate, and nothing has changed in Cuba – at least nothing for the better,” she told members. “…The sorry state of liberty and human rights in Cuba is not lost on anyone in this chamber – even as countries vote to blindly support the resolution every year.”

The resolution calling on the U.S. to lift the embargo was first introduced in 1992 and has passed overwhelmingly each year. This year the vote was 189-2, with the U.S. and Israel opposing.

In 2016, when the Obama administration was trying to forge better relations with the communist country, both the U.S. and Israel abstained during the vote.

Haley said proponents of the resolution “falsely blame America for all kinds of evil things, even genocide.”

“Those who support this resolution every year have it wrong. Our reason for the embargo is and has always been Cuba’s denial of freedom and the denial of the most basic human rights for the Cuban people. The United States will continue to stand with the Cuban people until their rights and their freedoms are restored. Period. We won’t back down,” she added. “Last year, we were joined by just one nation in voting against this resolution. And that’s fine. We were in very good company. We have no problem standing alone on behalf of the things that we believe in and will proudly do so again today if necessary.”

During a speech today at Miami Dade College’s National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower, National Security Advisor John Bolton warned that “in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, we see the perils of poisonous ideologies left unchecked, and the dangers of domination and suppression.”

“The ‘Troika of Tyranny’ in this hemisphere — Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua — has finally met its match,” he added.

Regarding the mysterious “sonic attacks” that have driven most U.S. diplomats from Havana and caused illness including traumatic brain injury, Bolton vowed that “this president will not allow our diplomats to be targeted with impunity.” Cuba has denied being behind the attacks.

Haley said at the UN that “for 27 years we’ve had this debate, and nothing has changed in Cuba – at least nothing for the better.”

“The United Nations does not have the ability or the authority to end the United States’ embargo of Cuba. But the United Nations has the unique ability to send a moral message to the Cuban dictatorship. We should use our megaphone to do something that has the potential to actually improve the lives of the Cuban people,” she said. “The United States has proposed a series of amendments to this resolution. These amendments have been taken directly from you. They are the member states’ expressions of hope for human rights in Cuba. Their content has been supplied by you. Their words are your words.”