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us embargo on cuba


Barack Obama and Raul Castro met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on September 29.

It was the second time Barack Obama and the Cuban president met in person this year after decades of estrangement between the two countries.

They shook hands before beginning private talks.

On September 28, Raul Castro called for an end to US economic sanctions on Cuba.

President Barack Obama had earlier expressed confidence that Congress would lift the embargo.Raul Castro and Barack Obama in New York

Raul Castro told the UN that normal relations with the United States would only be possible if the US abolished its trade embargo.

The embargo has been in place since 1960 and remains a contentious issue in relations between Cuba and the US.

In his speech to the UN, President Barack Obama said he was confident Congress would “inevitably lift an embargo that should not be in place anymore”.

On October 27 the UNGA is again scheduled to discuss a resolution condemning the embargo and calling for its abolition.

It is the 24th time the UNGA will vote on the issue, which generally is only opposed by the United States and Israel.

Speculation is already rife about how the US will vote this year after its own president dismissed the embargo as counterproductive and behind the times.

The resolutions are unenforceable, but a US abstention on a resolution critical of US behavior would be unprecedented.

The Republican-controlled US Congress has so far refused to lift the embargo.

Cuban-American Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio warned that an abstention would be “putting international popularity ahead of the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States”.

US officials said Raul Castro’s presence at the UN, the first time the Cuban leader spoke there, was a signal “that we’re in a new era”.

In his speech, Raul Castro said the normalization of relations would be “a long and complex process”.


President Raul Castro has called for the US to lift the trade embargo on Cuba in order to normalize the relations between the two countries.

He told the UN that was also necessary for the US to return the military base at Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay and end anti-communist broadcasts to the island.

President Barack Obama also called for the trade embargo to be lifted.

He said that he was confident that the US Congress would do so soon.

The two leaders are expected to meet on September 29 in New York.Raul Castro UN General Assembly 2015

Speaking at the UN General Assembly on September 28, President Barack Obama said he thought the Republican-held Congress would inevitably lift “an embargo that should not be in place anymore” despite its reservations over the administration’s support for it.

He said that while the Cuba policy of the US had “failed to improve the lives of the Cuban people”, human rights remained a concern in relations with Havana.

Barack Obama was applauded by delegates in the 193-nation UN General Assembly.

The embargo has been in place since 1960 and remains a contentious issue in relations between Cuba and the US.

President Raul Castro for his part said that now that diplomatic ties were back in place, the overall normalization of relations “will only be achieved with the end of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba”.

It was Raul Castro’s first address to the UN since succeeding his brother Fidel in 2006. Like Barack Obama, he received sustained applause.

The White House announced on September 27 that President Barack Obama would hold talks with his Cuban counterpart on September 29 on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

It will be their second meeting following on from their first historic get-together in Panama in April.

The UN General Assembly is set to discuss a new draft resolution criticizing the US embargo at a meeting next month.

The assembly has voted every year since 1982 in support of a resolution calling on the US to end the embargo.