Nearly every country in the world joined on Tuesday to urge the United States to lift its four-decade old economic embargo against Cuba in a record U.N. General Assembly vote.

The vote, held for the 14th consecutive year, was 182 to 4 with 1 abstention on a resolution calling for Washington to lift the U.S. trade, financial and travel embargo, particularly its provisions penalizing foreign firms.

The five voting "no" were the United States, Israel, Palau and the Marshall Islands. Micronesia abstained and El Salvador, Iraq, Nicaragua and Morocco did not vote. Last year the vote was 179 to 5, with more countries refusing to vote.

Cuba has been under a U.S. embargo since President Fidel Castro defeated a CIA-backed assault at the Bay of Pigs in 1961.

Friends of the United States, including Canada, Japan, Australia voted "yes," although the European Union strongly criticized Cuba's human rights record.

The measure is nonbinding and has had no impact on the United States, with the Bush administration having tightened restrictions against Cuba. But the resolution has given Cuba a morale boost each year, especially from nearly all South American and Caribbean nations, particularly Mexico.

Politics News Article | Reuters.com


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