U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power who announced the abstention just before the UN vote Wednesday saying that the U.S. policy of isolation toward Cuba had "isolated the United States, including here at the United Nations,'' made clear that the United States "categorically'' rejects statements in the resolution suggesting the embargo violated international law.
She also said that abstaining "does not mean that the United States agrees with all of the policies and practices of the Cuban government.''
"We do not,'' Power said. "We are profoundly concerned by the serious human rights violations that the Cuban government continues to commit with impunity against its own people.''
She cited Cuba's detention of government critics, threats and intimidation of participants in peaceful marches and meetings, and severe restrictions on outside information.