World

UN General Assembly condemns US embargo on Cuba, for 23nd year in a row

The shadow of self-employed Juan Carlos Lazo is cast on the cement next to his motorized bicycle which he uses to sell donuts along the Malecon in Havana, Cuba, early Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. The U.N. General Assembly is expected to vote on Tuesday to condemn the U.S. commercial, economic and financial embargo against Cuba for the 23rd year in a row.  The embargo was first enacted in 1960 following Cuba's nationalization of properties belonging to U.S. citizens and corporations. Sanctions against the Caribbean nation were further strengthened to a near-total embargo in 1962. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

The shadow of self-employed Juan Carlos Lazo is cast on the cement next to his motorized bicycle which he uses to sell donuts along the Malecon in Havana, Cuba, early Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. The U.N. General Assembly is expected to vote on Tuesday to condemn the U.S. commercial, economic and financial embargo against Cuba for the 23rd year in a row. The embargo was first enacted in 1960 following Cuba's nationalization of properties belonging to U.S. citizens and corporations. Sanctions against the Caribbean nation were further strengthened to a near-total embargo in 1962. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations General Assembly has voted for the 23rd year in a row to condemn the U.S. commercial, economic and financial embargo against Cuba.

The symbolic vote passed 188-2 on Tuesday, with only the U.S. and Israel voting against it. Three nations abstained: Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

General Assembly resolutions are unenforceable but the vote has given Cuba an annual stage to demonstrate the isolation of the U.S. on the 42-year-old embargo.

Ronald D. Godard, a senior U.S. adviser for Western Hemisphere affairs, defended the embargo and said "the Cuban government uses his annual resolution in an attempt to shift blame for the island's economic problems away from its own policy failures."

But U.S. attitudes towards the embargo are changing, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently speaking out in favor of lifting it.