STATEMENT BY MR. HOANG CHI TRUNG, CHARGE D’AFFAIRS OF VIET NAM ON AGENDA ITEM 21: “NECESSITY OF ENDING THE ECONOMIC, COMMERCIAL AND FINANCIAL EMBARGO IMPOSED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AGAINST CUBA” AT THE PLENARY MEETING OF THE 62ND SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
New York, 30 October 2007
At the outset, I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report on the implementation of General Assembly Resolution 61/11 entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” contained in document A/62/92. My Delegation associates itself with the statement made earlier by the distinguished Representative of Pakistan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China in this connection.
The almost half-a-century economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba has caused huge economic damages and untold suffering to the Cuban people, severely hindered their economic and social development, and undermined their endeavors to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. My Delegation expresses its concern over the fact that this long-standing embargo has not only been intact, but also tightened with the enforcement of laws and provisions of a distinctly extra-territorial character. According to the information provided by the Government of Cuba, the direct economic damages caused by the embargo to the Cuban people exceed 89 billion US dollars in almost 50 years, and last year’s damages to Cuba’s foreign trade alone were worth over 1.4 billion US dollars.
Viet Nam holds that this longest-ever embargo in history runs counter to the fundamental principles of international law, the UN Charter and the regulations of the WTO. The prolongation of such coercive economic measures will just only cause further tension in the bilateral relations between the United States and Cuba, and more hardships and difficulties to the Cuban people, especially those most vulnerable such as women and children. It is, therefore, a surprise to no one that the embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba has been repeatedly rejected by a growing number of Member States to a point where the opposition has become almost unanimous. And today, the presence of such a large number of Member States and their active participation in the deliberations are strong evidence of their opposition to these unilateral extra-territorial measures.
The Vietnamese Government has always been firm with the fundamental position that every nation has the inalienable right to determine its own political system and path of development suitable to its specific conditions. Viet Nam is convinced that the differences between the United States and Cuba should and can be settled through dialogue and negotiations on the basis of mutual respect and respect for each other’s independence and sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. We believe that the normalization and development of friendly relations between the two geographically close neighbors will only serve the interests of their peoples and those of regional and international peace and security. In that spirit, my delegation joins others in calling upon the United States of America to put to an immediate end its economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba.
Let me conclude by reaffirming the Vietnamese people’s sentiments of friendship and solidarity with the Cuban people. The Vietnamese Government and people will continue to do our utmost in assisting the Government and peace-loving people of Cuba overcome the effects of the embargo.