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Symbolic or not, Cubans celebrate UN embargo vote

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 01:09

The U.S. abstains on a historic vote at the United Nations to end the embargo on Cuba, but many acknowledge that real change will only come when the U.S. Congress follows suit. Diane Hodges reports.

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(delegates applauding) For Cuba at the United Nations in New York, it was 25th time lucky. They voted 191-to nothing with 2 abstentions, on a resolution to end the embargo against the island nation. The vote succeeded after the U.S. abstained from vetoing the measure....for the first time ever. (students watching monitor) Students at the University of Havana in Cuba erupted into applause when the vote was announced. But the celebrations were muted by the knowledge that the vote was only symbolic, and that the real power to end the embargo lies in Washington. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN STUDENT, ALEJANDRO ARREDONDO, SAYING: "That the United States abstained in a vote at the United Nations doesn't really mean anything if they don't follow through. I also hope the U.S. Congress decides to end the blockade." Cuba says the U.S. sanctions cost its economy $4-point-6 billion last year. President Obama has been gradually poking holes in the embargo since the two sides announced their deal to reestablish diplomatic relations two years ago. But only the U.S. Congress can lift it completely.

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Symbolic or not, Cubans celebrate UN embargo vote

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 01:09