In a historic step toward lifting the blockade on Cuba, the United States abstained in the United Nations General Assembly vote calling for the end of the Cold War practice. On Wednesday, 191 of the 193 member states in the Assembly voted for the resolution. Only the United States and Israel abstained. The U.S. abstention is significant, but only the U.S. Congress, where Republicans have rebuffed normalized relations with Cuba, has the power to lift the blockade.
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Cubans are now divided on whether they think normalization is a good thing for Cuba. A younger generation desiring greater economic opportunities, as well as entrepreneurs, small-business owners, artists, and others well-placed to reap the benefits, have welcomed the changes. But many of the older Cubans I spoke with—particularly those who work in the state sector of the economy - now seemed to believe more firmly that normalization will have a negative impact.