Black Lives Matter condemns U.S. government amid Cuba crisis

BLM is calling on political leaders to respond to the protests by lifting the economic embargo.

Black Lives Matter has called the U.S. government’s decades-long embargo on Cuba “cruel and inhumane.” 

The organization has addressed the growing anti-government protests in the island nation, sparked by shortages of food, electricity, medicine, and other vital resources.

“Since 1962, the United States has forced pain and suffering on the people of Cuba by cutting off food, medicine and supplies, costing the tiny island nation an estimated $130 billion,” BLM recently wrote in a statement on its Instagram account.

The organization noted that the embargo was “instituted with the explicit intention of destabilizing the country and undermining Cubans’ right to choose their own government” and is “at the heart of Cuba’s current crisis.” 

Thousands of Cubans have participated in protests against Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel. They are demanding more freedoms, more life-sustaining resources, and access to vaccines amid a reported spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths in recent weeks. 

This month, protestors gathered in Havana to push back against a government they allege has left them starving during the ongoing pandemic. 

Black Lives Matter is calling on the US government to respond to the crisis by lifting the economic embargo.

The group said “the people of Cuba are being punished by the U.S. government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination,” adding, “United States leaders have tried to crush this Revolution for decades.” 

Black lives Matter
(Photo by Natasha Moustache/Getty Images)

“Instead of international amity, respect, and goodwill, the U.S. government has only instigated suffering for the country’s 11 million people- of which 4 million are Black and Brown,” BLM wrote. 

Several Republicans were quick to clap back at BLM following the statement, accusing the civil rights advocacy organization of supporting Cuba’s Communist government, per The Hill

“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,” Cuban American Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fla. tweeted Thursday. 

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, co-founder of Daily Wire, retweeted BLM’s statement, saying: “Reminder: BLM is a horrible communist organization and always was.”

Odette Casamayor-Cisneros, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, called BLM “blind and deft” to Cuban people.

“I am Black & Cuban and deeply hurt by the #BLM statement on Cuban protests,” Dr. Casamayor-Cisneros tweeted. “They are blind and deft to the Cuban ppl, to their demands. With whom is their solidarity? Certainly not with the people in the streets. LISTEN to us.”

“A similar education and awareness that #BLM rightfully demands for white people is what I ask for them. I ask BLM to put aside their preconceptions abt #Cuba and listen to the Cubans on the island, their reality not the speeches #BLM wants to believe,” she added.

Self-described feminist Emily Schrader, a columnist with Israel’s Jerusalem Post, called BLM’s statement shameful.

“Apparently Black Lives Matter unless it’s black lives in Cuba living under a communist dictatorship who want to be free,” Schrader tweeted. “Marxism is an egregious crime against humanity. Shame on BLM.”

American Conservative Union Chair Matt Schlapp said BLM was “siding w Communist overseers in Cuba.”

He added, “BLM Inc has laid bare to the world that it was never about race so much as destroying America and pushing Marxism,” Schlapp wrote.

“Siding w Castroism over oppressed Afro Cubans is a tipping point. But maybe BLM got a beachfront house out of the deal.”

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden is urging Cuban officials to take seriously the pleas of the demonstrators, theGrio reported. 

“We stand with the Cuban people as they bravely assert their fundamental and universal rights, and as they all call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering,” read the caption on the official POTUS Twitter account, along with a link to Biden’s statement.

President Biden said he strongly supports the protesters.

“The Cuban people are demanding their freedom from an authoritarian regime,” he said during a recent White House event.

“The U.S. stands firmly with the people of Cuba as they assert their universal rights. And we call on the government of Cuba to refrain from violence in their attempt to silence the voices of the people of Cuba,” he added.

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