Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) echoed Blacks Lives Matter sentiment Thursday when she blamed the suffering of “everyday people” in Cuba on the U.S.’s 60-year-old embargo.
“We are seeing Cubans rise up and protest for their rights like never before. We stand in solidarity with them, and condemn the anti-democratic actions led by President Díaz-Canel,” the self-proclaimed Democratic-socialist said in a statement.
“Last month, once again, the UN voted overwhelmingly to call on the United States to lift its embargo on Cuba. The embargo is absurdly cruel and, like too many other U.S. policies targeting Latin Americans, the cruelty is the point. I outright reject the Biden administration’s defense of the embargo. It is never acceptable for us to use cruelty as a point of leverage against everyday people.”
Black Lives Matter put out a statement earlier this week blaming the U.S. government’s “cruel and inhumane” economic embargo for the current unrest in Cuba while praising the communist regime for its “solidarity” by granting asylum to “black revolutionaries.”
The Marxist organization has faced strong criticism since posting a statement on July 14 in response to protests that have erupted in multiple cities across Cuba, where demonstrators have called for freedom and an end to the communist regime.
Meanwhile, Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) whose family fled communist Cuba was quick to blast BLM for their comment.
“The extortionist ring known as the Black Lives Matter organization took a break today from shaking down corporations for millions & buying themselves mansions to share their support for the Communist regime in #Cuba,” Rubio, posted on social media in response to the Black Lives Matter statement.
On July 14, Rubio said during a speech to the senate that the Biden administration should not ease sanctions on Cuba but should stand with the Cuban people in their fight against communism.
“They’re shooting people that literally are unarmed … and we should be clear, we should be clear in our language. We don’t just condemn this tyranny, we condemn this communist, this Marxist, the Socialist tyranny,” said Rubio. “Number two, we should make clear, nothing’s going to change there’s not going to be any sanctions changed as a result of this.”
Rubio went on to say that the Biden administration should put resources behind getting Cuban’s access to the internet so they can communicate with the outside world and each other. He also questioned why the international community is not more vocal about condemning the communist regime in Cuba.
President Joe Biden said during a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, “Communism is a failed system—a universally failed system. And I don’t see socialism as a very useful substitute, but that’s another story.”
“There are a number of things that we would consider doing to help the people of Cuba, but it would require a different circumstance or a guarantee that they would not be taken advantage of by the [Cuban regime],” Biden said. “For example, the ability to send remittances back to Cuba. I would not do that now because the fact is it’s highly likely that the regime would confiscate those remittances or big chunks of it.”
Starting over the past weekend, thousands of Cubans have openly demonstrated against the authoritarian regime and called for leader Diaz-Canel to step down. Some demonstrators, as well as Cubans in the United States, have called on the Biden administration to intervene amid mass arrests of demonstrators by the regime.
Lorenz Duchamps contributed to this report.