India at UN supports lifting of five decade old US sanctions against Cuba

Illustration by Ajay Mohanty

India reiterated its support for the lifting of all sanctions imposed five decades ago by the US against Cuba, saying the continued existence of the embargo undermines multilateralism and the credibility of the UN itself.

Diplomats representing more than 135 countries including India overwhelmingly called on the Trump administration to end its economic, commercial and financial embargo against the Caribbean island, saying the nearly six-decade-long blockade impedes Cuba's right to development and its ability to participate fully in the global economy.

"People to people contact holds immense possibilities for fostering better understanding between nations. The international community needs to intensify its efforts to promote an environment free from sanctions and embargoes. India hopes that the embargo will be withdrawn at the earliest," India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Tanmaya Lal said Wednesday.

Lal was participating in the General Assembly session on 'Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial Blockade against Cuba'.

The representatives stressed that the US must heed the Assembly's repeated calls to lift its restrictive policies. Delegates noted that from April 2017 to June this year, the impact of the US embargo on Cuba's foreign trade amounts to more than USD 4 billion.

Lal said that every year, the General Assembly rejected the imposition of laws and regulations with extra-territorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic measures that hurt the progress and prosperity of the people the world over.

Last year, 191 member states voted in favour of the resolution, expressing their strong support to lifting of the embargo.

He said the General Assembly has also called upon all states to refrain from promulgating and applying and to repeal and invalidate laws and measures that have extra-territorial effects affecting the sovereignty of other states, in conformity with their obligations under the UN Charter and international law.

"There can be little doubt that the continued existence of this embargo, in contravention of the overwhelming world opinion as expressed by this Assembly, undermines multilateralism and the credibility of the United Nations itself," Lal said.

He said that India stands in solidarity with the General Assembly in its unambiguous rejection of domestic laws having extra-territorial impact.

"Such embargoes have the effect of impeding the full achievement of economic and social development by the population of the affected country, in particular children and women. They also hinder the full enjoyment of human rights, including the right to development, food, medical care and social services among other things," he said.

Lal noted that the embargo, particularly through its extra-territorial effects, has adversely affected the Cuban people and the development efforts of the country and stressed that the continued embargo would severely impact Cuba's ability to implement the comprehensive 2030 Agenda.

Speakers also voiced concern over the recent policy shifts in Washington that are undoing progress made in 2015 and 2016 to normalise bilateral ties with Cuba.

The current US administration is pursuing efforts to strengthen the blockade, they added.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel