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Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of China to UN Ambassador Zhang Yishan at GA 59th Session on Agenda Item 29: "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba"
(28 October 2004)


Mr. President,

Resolutions have been adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations for 12 consecutive years urging all countries to comply with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles enshrined in the international legal instruments, repeal or invalidate all the laws and measures with the extraterritorial effects that affect the sovereignty of other States, the legitimate rights and interests of entities or persons under their jurisdiction and the freedom of trade and navigation. Regrettably, the country concerned, continuing to act willfully, obstinately stick to the wrong position and ignore the just demand of the international community, has failed to implement the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

The embargo and sanctions imposed by the United States against Cuba have been going on for more than 40 years. The United States has claimed that these are aimed at enhancing democracy, freedom and human rights in Cuba. But what are the realities? First, by attempting to use embargo and sanction to force another country to give up its independently chosen development road, and even to overthrow the existing government, the United States has gravely violated the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms guiding the current international relations. This in itself has distorted, mocked and violated the principles of democracy and freedom. Second, the embargo and sanctions with an extraterritorial nature imposed by the United States against Cuba have violated the international law and the principles, objectives and rules of international trade. It also runs counter to the principle of free trade advocated by the United States itself. Third, the embargo and sanction imposed by the United States against Cuba have seriously obstructed and constrained the Cuban people in their nation-building efforts to eradicate poverty, improve people's living standard, and promote economic and social development. This poses a grave violation of the fundamental freedoms and human rights of the Cuban people, including the right to subsistence and development. Fourth, reversed thinking is a common way of thinking in many countries. If the United States and Cuba were to change places, and if it is the United States that is under the economic, trade and financial embargo imposed by other countries for many years, how would the United States feel? Would the United States still regard these countries' practices as acts aimed at enhancing its democracy, freedom and human rights in the United States?

Currently, nearly 80 countries have suffered economi