The U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday passed by an overwhelming majority a new resolution condemning the commercial, economic and financial embargo that the United States has imposed on Cuba for the past 50 years.

The resolution was passed by a vote of 188-3 with two abstentions, assembly President Vuk Jeremic said at the end of an almost three-hour debate.

Israel and Palau joined the United States in opposition, while Micronesia and the Marshall Islands abstained.

The General Assembly has passed a similar resolution every year since 1992.

Before the vote, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez slammed the "persistent tightening" of the embargo during the first four years of the Barack Obama administration.

"It is an act of aggression and a permanent danger to the stability of the nation," he said.

Speaking for the United States, senior State Department official Ronald Godard accused Havana of seeking "to identify an external scapegoat for the island's economic problems when they are principally caused by the economic policies that Cuban government has pursued for the past half century."

The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean had previously joined together to call for the end of the embargo as contrary to the principles of the U.N. Charter and international law.

The embargo was officially imposed in February 1962 during the administration of President John F. Kennedy, but the U.S. government had already enacted certain sanctions beginning in 1959, the year of victory for the Cuban Revolution. EFE