AMBASSADOR RONALD D. GODARD DELIVERS REMARKS ON THE NECESSITY OF ENDING
THE ECONOMIC, COMMERCIAL, AND FINANCIAL EMBARGO IMPOSED BY THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA AGAINST CUBA
2007-11-01. New York City, As Released by The United States Mission to
The United Nations, October 30, 2007
Speaker: Ambassador Ronald D. Godard,
[*] GODARD: Thank you, Mr. President. As in years past, the United
States rises to point out the fundamental fact the exercise of the
sovereign right to decide whether and to what extent to trade with
another government is a bilateral issue, and as such, should not come
before the General Assembly.
We note that many other states or regional groups have, from time to
time, determined to restrict transactions with others for a variety of
reasons. They should consider whether this resolution sets a precedent
that they would find acceptable in other contexts.
Cuba's problems derive not from any decision of the United States, but
from the embargo on freedom that the Cuban regime has imposed on its own
The Cuban government denies its people information, access to the
outside world and the right to travel, and opportunities to better their
We maintain our policy of directing aid and trade into the hands of the
Cuban people to break the absolute control that the Cuban regime holds
over the resources that its people need.
According to the Cuban Government's own trade statistics, the United
States has exported nearly $2 billion in agricultural, medical, and
humanitarian goods to Cuba since 2002. We are one of Cuba's largest
suppliers of food and one of Cuba's largest trading partners. In 2006
alone, we authorized the provision of over $270 million of food and
medicines by private citizens and organizations, making the American
people the largest providers of humanitarian aid to the Cuban people in
the entire world.
Now more than ever, we invite the member states considering this
resolution to reject the arguments of the Cuban government and focus on
effecting a transition in Cuba that would restore its people's
We also encourage member states and non-governmental orgranizations to
promote free and unfettered access to the internet in Cuba by all
Cubans, to support independent libraries and journalists, and to broaden
educational opportunities for all Cuban youth, not just a privileged few.
Finally, we call on the international community to join together in
demanding that the Cuban government unconditionally release all
political prisoners as the essential step in beginning a process that
restores to the Cuban people their basic human rights.
It is long past time that the Cuban people enjoy the blessings of
economic and political freedom. Instead of voting in favor of this
resolution condemning the United States for declining to engage in
unrestricted financial transactions with a regime that deprives its own
people of the fundamental human rights that this body is charged with
protecting, we urge member states to oppose this resolution and condemn
the Cuban government's internal embargo on freedom, which is the real
cause of the suffering of the Cuban people.