The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to condemn the continued U.S. trade embargo of Cuba—and only one other country in the assembly backed the blockade.
The General Assembly voted 191 in favor and 2 opposed for the symbolic resolution calling the policy illegitimate. The only two countries voting against the resolution were the United States and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Israel.
A similar resolution has been passed by the General Assembly every year for the past 23 years. This is the first time that the demand for ending the blockade looks like it could become reality.
While President Obama has made moves to ease travel and commerce between the U.S. and Cuba, and both countries re-opened their respective embassies this summer, lifting the trade embargo will require approval by Congress. Legislation to change the 55-year policy is working its way through the legislature, where it faces opposition from some Republicans.
There was talk that the U.S. might abstain from voting on the annual U.N. resolution about the embargo, which would be the first time in its history of doing so. But U.S. officials said the resolution didn't include any language acknowledging that progress was being made.
"The blockade is a flagrant, massive and systematic violation of the human rights of all Cubans; it is contrary to International Law; it has been described as a crime of genocide," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla told the delegates.
Casey Tolan is a National News Reporter for Fusion based in New York City.