Rep. Alexnder Ocasio-Cortez has finally broken her silence regarding Cuba’s anti-government protests, echoing Black Lives Matter (BLM) recent statement that condemns the U.S. for the “absurdly cruel” trade embargo levied against the communist country.
“We see 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,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement released in Spanish late Thursday night. “The suppression of the media, speech and protests are serious violations of the Basic Civil Rights.”
“We must also name the contribution of the United States to Cuban suffering: our embargo of almost sixty years,” the statement continues. “Last month, once again, the U.N. 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,” AOC concludes. “It is never acceptable for us to use cruelty as a point of leverage against everyday people.”
Ocasio-Cortez remained radio silent on social media for almost a week regarding Cuba’s violent uprising, with many wondering why the progressive firebrand, who usually never misses an opportunity to speak out against human rights violations, including those unfolding under authoritarian regimes. Meanwhile, AOC fellow “Squad” members, including Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) have continued to remain radio silent on the unrest on social media, ignoring the Cuban protesters’ demanding freedom against the country’s communist dictatorship as they plea for the United States to save them.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who previously defended some of Fidel Castro’s policies, broke his silence late Monday in a tweet blaming the U.S for levying sanctions against the communist island while refusing to criticize the Communist dictatorship.
“All people have the right to protest and to live in a democratic society. I call on the Cuban government to respect opposition rights and refrain from violence. It’s also long past time to end the unilateral U.S. embargo on Cuba, which has only hurt, not helped, the Cuban people,” Sanders tweeted late Monday night.
Black Lives Matter sparked backlash earlier Thursday after sharing a statement posted on BLM’s Instagram page late Wednesday that condemned the U.S. for its trade embargo and praised Cuba’s government.
“Black Lives Matter condemns the U.S. federal government’s inhumane treatment of Cubans and urges it to immediately lift the economic embargo. The people of Cuba are being punished by the U.S. government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination,” the BLM statement said in the statement. “United States leaders have tried to crush this Revolution for decades.”
It described the embargo as a “cruel and inhumane policy” and placed the blame as being the core of Cuba’s current crisis. The group also said the embargo was instated with “the explicit intention of destabilizing the country and undermining Cubans’ right to choose their own government.”
The statement also credited Cuba’s government for “protecting Black revolutionaries like Assata Shakur,” a convicted cop-killer who fled to Cuba after escaping from prison in 1979.
BLM isn’t the only group to have praised the oppressive Cuban regime. The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist group in the nation, with Ocasio-Cortez being one of the four Congressional members, expressed solidarity earlier this week with the communist regime. In a tweet sent from the DSA International Committee, the group emphasizing the term “Revolution,” used by the communist government while backing the ruling class during “this moment of unrest.”
Cuba erupted in its largest-scale demonstrations in decades Sunday as thousands of people lashed out at the worsening economic conditions, chanting “Freedom” and “Enough” and called for the resignation of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel. The Cuban leader railed against “Miami’s conservative Cuban-American mafia” and “influencers and YouTubers” for fueling the unrest by portraying him as a “tyrant.”
During a news conference Monday, Diaz-Canel sought to blame the U.S. government as the “real culprit” for placing the embargo that caused Cuba’s deepening economic woes and threatened to call on “revolutionaries” loyalists to “fight” back the “vulgar criminals” anti-government protesters,