THE UNITED NATIONS
ECONOMIC, TRADE AND
FINANCIAL EMBARGO AGAINST CUBA
EXPLANATION OF VOTE BY HIS EXCELLENCY
AMBASSADOR HELDER LUCAS
DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF ANGOLA TO THE UNITED NATIONS
NEW YORK, OCTOBER 26, 2016
The Angolan delegation aligns itself with the statements delivered by Niger, Thailand and Venezuela on behalf, respectively of the African Group, the G77 and China and the Non Aligned Movement.
Allow me to begin by extending a warm welcome to His Excellency Mr. Bruno Rodrigues Parrilla, Minister of External Relations of Cuba, and congratulate Cuba for the adoption of resolution A/71/L.3 on the Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba, which translates the widespread support of the international community towards the Cuban people.
Angola reiterates its appreciation for the normalization of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States; we also welcome this year's visit of President Barak Obama to Cuba, in the expectation that it will be a tangible step towards the lifting of the embargo against Cuba.
However, despite the encouraging steps taken by the President of the United States of America to normalize relations between the two countries, outstanding barriers remain in place.
The resolution adopted today is relevant and therefore Angola has voted in favor, by joining the vast majority of the UN membership, while we reiterate, with concern, the persistence of the economic, commercial and financial measures imposed by the United States against Cuba and we expect that the resumption of diplomatic relations between both countries will stimulate the American authorities in continuing to take measures aimed at completely ending the embargo, in line with the principle of mutual respect, and the respect for the Cuban people to freely exercise the right to decide on its political and economic system.
we regret that despite the executive measures adopted by the President of the Unites States and his administration the embargo remains in force, as an obstacle to the full normalization of relations between the two nations.
We are particularly concerned with the persistent extraterritorial nature of the embargo, notably in the banking and financial areas.
As clearly illustrated by Minister Bruno Rodrigues Padilla in his statement this morning, the embargo has imposed an immense human and financial cost to the Cuban people. According to conservative estimates, by the Cuban authorities, between March 2015 and March 2016, the cost to Cuba of the sanctions amounted to over 4 billion dollars.
In this context, Angola reiterates the urgent need to lift the economic, financial and commercial restrictions imposed by the United States against Cuba, which constitute a major obstacle to developing the full potential of the Cuban people, and to Cuba’s economic, trade and financial relations with de United States and the rest of the world.
Angola reaffirms its commitment to respect, preserve and promote the principles of the UN Charter and the provisions of international law, as they constitute the basis of multilateralism in the collective effort to maintain peace and international security, social and economic development, the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Angola commends and once again encourages the efforts of the Secretary-General to put an end to the embargo which has been in force for more than 50 years.
In conclusion, Angola reiterates its unconditional support to the implementation of the provisions contained in the resolution adopted today, and takes this opportunity to appeal once again to the international community to redouble efforts aimed at promoting a constructive and transparent dialogue between the two countries, and achieve the objectives set in the resolution we have just adopted.
Finally, Angola commends the position adopted by the US delegation in abstaining in today's vote and strongly encourages the United States and Cuba to pursue the dialogue and build a relationship base on mutual respect.