UNITED NATIONS (Dispatches) -- The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly voted to condemn the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, calling it punitive and outmoded.
The General Assembly passed the resolution on Thursday by a vote of 187 to three, marking the 28th consecutive year that the world body frowns on the embargo.
General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding and are unenforceable, but they reflect world opinion and the vote has given Cuba an annual stage to demonstrate the isolation of the U.S. on the embargo.
The United States and Cuba severed relations in 1961 during the Cold War. Cuba has been under a U.S. economic blockade for over 60 years.
In 2015, the U.S restored diplomatic relations with Cuba under former President Barack Obama. However, his successor Donald Trump began to partially roll back the historic rapprochement as soon as he took office in early 2017.
Trump has even tightened the blockade over the past few years. Most recently, the U.S. slapped more sanctions on Havana to try preventing it from receiving oil from Venezuela -- another target of Washington’s hostility.
The Thursday vote was only opposed by the occupying regime of Israel and Brazil, now led by Jair Bolsonaro, whose ultra-conservatism and alliance with Trump has won him the title "the tropical Trump.”
Bolsonaro made Brazil the first in Latin America to vote against the resolution in at least five years.
Addressing the General Assembly, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said there had been "an escalation in aggression against Cuba" under Trump, whose government, he said, "does not hide its intention to economically asphyxiate Cuba and increase the damage, shortages, and suffering of its people."
Rodriguez accused the U.S. of exercising "its imperialist domination,” increasing its military presence in Latin America, and using "interventionist and unacceptable language” against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government.
"Neither threat nor blackmail will ever extract the least political concession from us,” the Cuban minister said. "We will not back down from our determination to achieve a civilized relationship with the U.S. government based on mutual respect.”
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, who spoke before the vote, said it was time to "put an end to this imperialist madness.”
Havana says the embargo has caused it $138 billion in economic damage.
Cuba said on Wednesday the country had attracted $1.7 billion worth of foreign investment over the past year despite the tighter U.S. trade embargo.