Wednesday, November 16, 2005

El Bloqueo by David Peterson

Continuing the dumping into the "memory hole"......George Orwell would have a good laugh on reading about all of this....


El Bloqueo
Posted by David Peterson
Not sure which gets more comical---in a sick sense---with each passing year: The ever-mounting one-sidedness of the annual vote in the UN General Assembly urging those “States that have and continue to apply [measures against other States that affect the free flow of international trade] to take the necessary steps to repeal or invalidate them as soon as possible”? Or the near-invisibility with which this vote occurs---just as it has been occurring for the past 14 straight years?
After all, the principles affirmed are anything but a “complete exercise in irrelevancy,” here quoting the phrase used by the American Ambassador to the United Nations, dismissing the lot of them. Namely: The “sovereign equality of States, nonintervention and non-interference in their internal affairs and freedom of international trade and navigation....” Or what the Russian Foreign Ministry referred to as the “resort to unilateral exterritorial measures in international relations.” A practice which “contradicts the spirit of our time and the very nature of the contemporary international relations.” But a “left-over of the Cold War and of ideological confrontation.” One that “retards the formation of the new 21st century world order, based on the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and the international law.”
As best I can tell, the New York Times devoted 127 words to the grand event. (Though a few days later, New York’s Daily News did run a sensible commentary on the vote.) The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) a total of 30. The Calgary Sun a whopping 83. While the U.K. print media ran virtually nothing. (Excluding a bona fide outlier such as the Morning Star. Wherein I discovered 408.) The Economist (London) 40. And the Financial Times somewhere on the order of 20. (At the outset of a slightly-longer blurb about how the Governor of the State of Alabama was urging his 49 fellow governors to adopt a boycott of Aruba, “angry about Aruba’s alleged mishandling of an investigation into the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, an Alabama student, on the holiday island in May.” Doubtless one of the most heavily reported incidents on American cable television during 2005. Right up there with Hurricane Katrina. And the Michael Jackson trial.)
Of course I am referring to the General Assembly’s vote on a draft resolution bearing the mouthful of a title: Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.
In case you missed it, the November 8 vote was 182 in favor of the resolution, 4 against (the United States---and Israel, the Marshall Islands, and Palau), 1 State abstaining (the Federates States of Micronesia), and 4 absent (El Salvador, Iraq, Morocco, and Nicaragua).
Just as in every one of the previous 13 years, the votes in favor or against these resolutions have been roughly the same---the one significant difference being in the number of states willing to vote in favor of the resolutions, rather than copping out and abstaining, as used to happen early on.
- 1992 (A/RES/47/19): 59 in favor; 3 against (the U.S., Israel, and Romania); and 79 abstained
- 1993 (A/RES/48/16): 88 to 4 (the U.S., Israel)
- 1994 (A/RES/49/9): 101 to 2
- 1995 (A/RES/50/10): 117 to 3
- 1996 (A/RES/51/17): 137 to 3
- 1997 (A/RES/52/10): 143 to 3
- 1998 (A/RES/53/4): 157 to 2
- 1999 (A/RES/54/21): 155 to 2
- 2000 (A/RES/55/20): 167 to 3
- 2001 (A/RES/56/9): 167 to 3
- 2002 (A/RES/57/11): 173 to 3
- 2003 (A/RES/58/7): 179 to 3
- 2004 (A/RES/59/11) 179 to 4
- 2005: (A/60/L.9): 182 to 4
At no time in the 14 consecutive years that the General Assembly has adopted these resolutions has the U.S. Government voted completely by itself. In fact, in each of the 14 years, the Israeli Government has joined it. As it did this past November 8.
As one Lester D. Mallory, then a Deputy Under-Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs in the Eisenhower Administration, expressed what would become the unrelenting U.S. policy toward Cuba for the next 45 years (April, 1960---and there were no so-called “Neoconservatives” in sight):
[T]he only foreseeable means to alienate internal support is by creating disillusionment and discouragement based on lack of satisfaction and economical difficulties….We should immediately use any possible measure to…cause hunger, desperation and the overthrow of the Government.
In other words, if somebody can build a house for themselves, U.S. policy is to tear it down. (All the while counting on the educated classes back in the States to lay the blame for the demolition at the feet of the very people who built it in the first place.)
In a State Department briefing the very day the resolution was adopted, Adam Ereli was asked whether he thought “there’s something to be said for the fact that the whole international community disagrees with your policy and thinks other things should....”
Even before the reporter could finish his question, Ereli’s response was as unequivocal as it was unceremonious: “No.”
American history really is no more complicated than this No.
Unless we say so.
Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba (Draft Resolution: A/60/L.9), UN General Assembly, October 24, 2005. [This same draft document was adopted by the General Assembly on November 8.] “General Assembly, for Fourteenth Straight Year, Adopts Text on Ending Decades-Old United States Embargo against Cuba” (GA/10417), November 8, 2005 “General Assembly issues annual call for an end to US embargo against Cuba,” UN News Center, November 8, 2005
STOP Al Bloqueo (Homepage) Report by Cuba on Resolution 59/11 of the United Nations General Assembly (English), Government of Cuba, August 15, 2005
Trip To Latin America,” White House Office of the Press Secretary, November 4, 2005 “Fact Sheet: Accomplishments at the Fourth Summit of the Americas,” White House Office of the Press Secretary, November 5, 2005 “President Bush Discusses Democracy in the Western Hemisphere,” White House Office of the Press Secretary, November 6, 2005 “Daily Press Briefing,” Adam Ereli, U.S. Department of State, November 8, 2005
Ministerial segment of the 15th Ibero-American Summit ends today,” Nidia Diaz and Jorge Luis Gonzalez, Granma International, October 13, 2005 “Cuba Regards Ibero-American Summit as Victory Over U.S.,” Patrick Goodenough,, October 17, 2005 “15th Ibero-American Summit supports Cuba,” W. T. Whitney Jr., People’s Weekly World, October 18, 2005 “Ibero-American summit criticises US policy,” Paul Mitchell, World Socialist Website, October 29, 2005 “Cubans more wary of Bush administration,” David Clarke, Reuters, November 4, 2005 “Cuba obtains overwhelming support for resolution calling for an end to the blockade,” Granma International, November 8, 2005
Strange Logic, ZNet, November 2, 2004


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