Explanation of Vote on a UN General Assembly Cuba Anti-Embargo Resolution

Rodney Hunter
Political Coordinator
New York, New York
June 23, 2021


Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you, members of the General Assembly.

The United States stands with the Cuban people and seeks to support their pursuit of freedom, prosperity, and a future of greater dignity.

As with other Member States, the United States determines its conduct of economic relationships with other countries in accordance with its national interests. Sanctions are a legitimate way to achieve foreign policy, national security, and other national and international objectives, and the United States is not alone in this view or in this practice.

Sanctions are one set of tools in our broader effort toward Cuba to advance democracy, promote respect for human rights, and help the Cuban people exercise the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We therefore oppose this resolution.

We recognize the challenges the Cuban people face. That is why the United States is a significant supplier of humanitarian goods to the Cuban people and one of Cuba’s principal trading partners. Every year, we authorize billions of dollars worth of exports to Cuba, including food and other agricultural commodities, medicines, medical devices, telecommunications equipment, consumer goods, and other items to support the Cuban people.

Advancing democracy and human rights remain at the core of our policy efforts toward Cuba. We are engaging directly with a large swath of Cuban civil society, empowering the Cuban people to determine their own futures. We are also engaging directly with the Cuban government to denounce abuses and push for reform. The United States stands with all who defend freedom in Cuba.

Cubans, as all people, deserve the right to freedom of expression, assembly, and culture. No government should silence its critics through violations of their human rights. We celebrate the diverse backgrounds and ideas of Cuban artists, entrepreneurs, religious leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, and environmental activists – just a few of the many people in Cuba with a strong voice and a desire to be heard.

The United States opposes this resolution. We encourage this body to support the Cuban people in their quest to determine their own future.

Thank you, Mr. President.