In a record-tying display of global solidarity, Barbados joined with all but a tiny handful of nations in the 193-member United Nations General Assembly as it overwhelmingly condemned the United States’ 63-year-long embargo on Cuba.
Thursday’s vote tied with the support in 2019 for the resolution that calls for lifting the US economic and trade embargo against Havana, first imposed in 1960. The vote was 187 in favour, with the United States and Israel opposed, and Ukraine abstaining. Cuba’s long-standing ally Venezuela, Somalia and Moldova did not vote.
The “yes” vote was up from 185 last year and 184 in 2021.
The resolution, originally introduced in 1992, has consistently garnered unanimous support from Barbados and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states in what has become an annual expression of disapproval for the embargo’s continuation.
As a stalwart advocate for the resolution, Bridgetown declared its commitment to seeing the end of the embargo, noting the severe impact it has on Cuba’s socio-economic development.
“The resolution highlights the illegality of the ongoing US embargo against Cuba as well as its debilitating effects on the Cuban people. The resolution also calls on the United States to bring the embargo to an end,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
Addressing the General Assembly ahead of the vote, Barbados’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador François Jackman, emphasised the pivotal role that Cuba plays in the Caribbean region.
He underscored the vital support provided by Cuba to Barbados during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in bolstering the health system.
This assistance highlights Bridgetown’s storied relationship with the communist government in Cuba, having established diplomatic relations on December 8, 1972, along with fellow CARICOM members Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Successive Barbadian leaders have maintained close ties with successive Cuban leaders, beginning with Fidel Castro, his brother Raúl, and Miguel Díaz-Canel, who was born in 1960, the year of the embargo and year after the revolution that toppled the pro-US dictator Fulgencio Batista. Barbados maintains a resident embassy in Havana, while Cuba reciprocates with a resident embassy in Bridgetown.