The United Nations General Assembly has backed a resolution that Cuba has been submitting every year since 1992 demanding that the US lift the economic embargo it imposed on the communist island more than 50 years ago.
A total of 191 of the 193 members of the UN voted in favour of the resolution, the first since Cuban-US relations were restored in December 2014, with the exception of the US and its ally Israel, Efe news agency reported.
The recent diplomatic thaw between the countries led many to expect a change in the US position this year. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Tuesday said he was disappointed the US did not vote yes.
"We have to judge from the events. The fact is since December 17 (last year when the normalisation of US-Cuba relations was announced) there have been no significant changes in the application of the blockade," said Rodriguez.
He said Cuba will continue to take up the matter in the UN General Assembly till the blockade is lifted.
US President Barack Obama's opposition to the embargo and his repeated appeals to the US Congress to lift it had raised expectations the US could end up abstaining from voting in Tuesday's session. US envoy Ronald Godard hinted that the resolution had been seriously considered but the final draft of the resolution had prompted the US to oppose it.
"We find it unfortunate that, despite our demonstrated bilateral progress, Cuba has chosen to introduce a resolution that is nearly identical to those tabled in years past," Godard added.
Although the vote is not immensely significant considering the resolution is non-binding, an abstention by the US would have sent a clear message to the Congress.
India reiterated its unambiguous opposition to unilateral embargoes imposed by countries through their domestic laws as New Delhi voted Tuesday for the resolution calling for an end to the United States embargo against Cuba.
India "has consistently rejected the imposition of laws and regulations with extra-territorial impact and all other forms of coercive economic measures that hurt the progress and prosperity of the people the world over," India's Permanent Representative Asoke Kumar Mukerji told the General Assembly.
"The continued existence of this embargo, in contravention of world opinion," he added, "undermines multilateralism and the credibility of the United Nations itself."
Embargoes impacted the human rights of people as it affected their right to development, food and medical care, hitting women and children the hardest, he said.