Cubans Rally For UN Help port

The Cuban Embassy in Phnom Penh has launched a news of­fen­­sive in preparation for a UN General As­sem­bly vote on a resolution calling for the US to lift its ec­onomic blockade on Cuba.

The US im­posed the blockade on the island nation after Com­munist rev­olutionaries, led by Fidel Castro and Che Gue­vara, toppled the US-backed capitalist re­gime of Ful­gencio Ba­tista in 1959.

Cuban Ambassador Nirsia Cas­tro Guevara said Thursday that she hoped that on Nov 4 UN member coun­­tries will vote overwhelmingly in support of the resolution, as they did in the UN General As­sembly vote on the resolution last year.

In the coming days, Cuban em­bas­sies around the world plan to hold news conferences condemning the US policy.

The news conference comes af­ter US President George W Bush’s Oct 10 speech announcing new economic restrictions and harsher punishments for US citizens or companies not complying with the blockade.

Reporters were treated to soda and sweet coffee as Cas­tro Gue­vara called the de­cades-old US pol­icy ridiculous and gen­ocidal.

For the assertion of ridiculousness, she cited, among other things, the seizure of a Cuban fruit-juice boat during a stopover in the US state of California, en route to Japan.

For the assertion of genocide, she provided a July UN re­port on Cuba. The report calculated a 44-year total of more than $72 billion in econom­ic damages spurred by the blockade.

Castro Guevara said that Cuba was a natural business partner for the US, but “the powerful US media and the Cuban-American ma­fia in South Florida have de­mon­ized the Cuban political system that the Cuban people have free­ly chosen.”

A US Embassy official, who de­clined to be named, said the Cu­ban Embassy made two mistakes in its Thursday news conference.

“That they would think that the US would care about [the UN res­­olution] anyway is not very realistic,” the official said. “And that they would talk about it in Cambodia is sort of like one hand clapping.”


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