In a further step back from the ultra-conservative agenda imposed by former Brazilian chancellor Ernesto Araújo, Brazil abstained from voting at the UN on Wednesday (23) which decided to condemn the American embargo imposed on Cuba almost six decades ago.
For the 29th time, the majority of the countries that make up the organization approved the resolution with 184 votes in favor, two against, from the United States and Israel, and three abstentions – besides Brazil, Ukraine and Colombia also voted. abstained.
The Brazilian position was already expected, with the departure of Donald Trump from the American presidency and Ernesto do Itamaraty.
The last time the resolution was presented, in 2019, Jair Bolsonaro’s government broke a 27-year tradition and voted in favor of the embargo. Only Brazil, Israel and the United States have adopted this position, against 187 countries. Colombia and Ukraine abstained.
At the time, Itamaraty’s technical staff tried until the last minute to convince the then chancellor not to align with the Trump administration during the vote.
The main argument put forward at the time was that the resolution did not signify support or condemnation of the Cuban dictatorship, but recognition that unilateral sanctions such as those applied by the United States are illegal under international law.
Brazil’s record in terms of votes in favor of the resolution is also justified by the country’s defense of the principle of non-interference in other nations.
It was even raised that Brazil should not vote against the resolution because the country itself could be harmed in the future – for example, in the possibility of economic sanctions due to the environmental policy in the Amazon.
Despite the call from diplomats working in the region – who defended the country’s abstention – Ernesto Araújo determined in 2019 that Itamaraty would support the American line.
At the time, the then chancellor defended his position and said it was necessary to condemn Cuban influence in the Chavez regime in Venezuela and other Latin American countries.
The Covid pandemic has postponed consideration of the resolution by the UN until 2020 – since 1992, the vote has taken place every year. The Cubans took advantage of the context of the health crisis to present the case only after the election in the United States, betting on the defeat of Trump.
After the vote, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Padilla defended the end of the embargo, declaring that “just like the virus, the blockade suffocates and kills”. The political coordinator of the American mission to the UN, Rodney Hunter, said that the United States “stands with everyone in the defense of the freedom of Cuba” and that the people of the island deserve “the right freedom of expression, assembly and culture ”. “No government should silence its critics with violations of their human rights. The United States is against this resolution.
In effect since 1962, the embargo has been passed into law, and only the US Congress can end the measure.