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Mexico on Wednesday condemned the United States' refusal to lift its six-decade trade embargo against Cuba despite the repeated and near unanimous calls of the international community to end the sanctions.
During a UN General Assembly session studying Cuba's draft resolution to lift the embargo, Mexico's permanent representative to the United Nations, Juan Ramon de la Fuente, said the sanctions harm not just Cuba's economy, but also the health and welfare of Cubans.
The embargo, said de la Fuente, prevents crucial international cooperation, even at such critical times as a global pandemic like COVID-19, and a natural disaster like Hurricane Ian that devastated parts of western Cuba in September.
"We have seen how the embargo hindered the arrival of medical supplies to tackle the pandemic, as well as food for the Cuban people," he said.
"Making the civilian population suffer from hunger is another conduct prohibited by international humanitarian law," he said, adding that Mexico believes "there should be no sanctions of any kind" against any country, outside those the UN Security Council decides to adopt.
The embargo violates the UN Declaration on Principles of International Law, which rejects imposing unilateral coercive measures, or sanctions, for political purposes.
De la Fuente called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and member countries to continue demanding the end of the embargo, a demand whose continued rejection by the United States is unacceptable, he stressed.
Last year, for the 29th time in a row, 184 countries voted in favor of lifting the embargo, and the United States and Israel voted against.
According to Cuba's estimates, the U.S. embargo against the island nation has resulted in more than 150 billion U.S. dollars in economic losses at current prices, strangling the island's development and undermining the quality of life.