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UN Assembly: Morocco Supports Resolution Lifting Cuba Embargo, Despite Cuban Support for Polisario

The Kingdom of Morocco joined 186 other nations at the UN General Assembly on Thursday, voting for a United Nations resolution condemning the United States’ decades-long economic embargo on Cuba.

The resolution, entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba,” which condemned the US’s 60-yearlong policy, passed with overwhelming support of UN member-states, according to a UN press release. The United States and Israel were the only countries to oppose the resolution, while Ukraine abstained from voting.

Before the vote, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez made an emotional plea to the assembly, urging countries to stand with “reason and justice” in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.

He said the embargo “goes beyond international trade rules” and international law, and called it “economic warfare during peacetime.”

US representative Paul Folmsbee said the US is holding firm on sanctions against Cuba. The US “stands resolutely with the Cuban people,” he said, in their pursuit of a better future with respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms. He noted that the US sanctions exempt essential items such as food and medicine, and are “one set of tools” in the US’s broader effort to encourage the Cuban government to advance democracy and promote respect for human rights.

Although Cuba has historically supported the separatist Polisario Front that seeks to undermine Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara, Morocco’s move in support of lifting the embargo on Cuba is seen as taking a stand for moral diplomacy.

Morocco reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2017 after a 37-year hiatus marked by a rift in the bilateral relationship dating back to 1980.