U.S. to abstain from U.N. vote calling for end to Cuba embargo

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(Reuters) The United States on Wednesday will for the first time abstain from a United Nations General Assembly vote on a resolution calling for an end to a U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said.

A vintage car passes by the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini
A vintage car passes by the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

The United States has consistently voted against such resolutions for the past 24 years. Last year the resolution was adopted by the 193-member General Assembly with 191 votes in favor. Israel joined its ally the United States in voting against. While such resolutions are non-binding, they can carry political weight.

The General Assembly will vote shortly for the 25th time on the annual resolution. U.S. President Barack Obama has taken steps to ease trade and travel restrictions on Cuba, but only the U.S. Congress can lift the full embargo.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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