Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) weighed in on the ongoing situation in Cuba late on Thursday evening with a statement that appeared to blame all the suffering that the Cuban people have experienced over decades on the U.S. and only criticized Cuba’s government for their actions in response to the protests that broke out over the weekend.
“We are seeing Cubans rise up and protest for their rights like never before,” she said. “We stand in solidarity with them, and we condemn the anti-democratic actions led by President Diaz-Canel. The suppression of the media, speech and protest are all gross violations of civil rights.”
“We also must name the U.S. contribution to Cuban suffering: our sixty-year-old embargo,” she continued. “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. It is never acceptable for us to use cruelty as a point of leverage against every day people.”
We stand in solidarity with the Cuban people and condemn the suppression of the media, speech and protest.
We also call for an end to the U.S. embargo and additional Trump-era restrictions that are profoundly contributing to the suffering of Cubans. pic.twitter.com/Fw6Quv5TAN
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) July 16, 2021
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) posted a tweet earlier in the week that disputed the notion of what Ocasio-Cortez was trying to claim.
“The U.S. is the largest provider of food to #Cuba & each year sends $275 million in medicine & $3 billion in remittances to relatives,” he said. “The suffering in Cuba isn’t because of an embargo, it’s because socialism always leads to suffering.”
The U.S. is the largest provider of food to #Cuba & each year sends $275 million in medicine & $3 billion in remittances to relatives
The suffering in Cuba isn’t because of an embargo,it’s because
socialism always leads to suffering#CubaSOS
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 15, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez’s statement echoed similar sentiment to far-left Black Lives Matter, which also demonized the U.S. in a statement this week.
“Black Lives Matter condemns the U.S. federal government’s inhumane treatment of Cubans, and urges it to immediately lift the economic embargo,” the group claimed. “This cruel and inhumane policy, instituted with the explicit intention of destabilizing the country and undermining Cubans’ right to choose their own government, is at the heart of Cuba’s current crisis. 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.”
“Without that money, it is harder for Cuba to acquire medical equipment needed to develop its own COVID-19 vaccines and equipment for food production. This comes in spite of the country’s strong medical care and history of lending doctors and nurses to disasters around the world,” they continued. “The people of Cuba are being punished by the U.S. government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination. United States leaders have tried to crush this Revolution for decades. 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.”
“Cuba has historically demonstrated solidarity with oppressed peoples of African descent, from protecting black revolutionaries like Assata Shakur,” the group said of one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists, “through granting her asylum, to supporting black liberation struggles in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and South Africa. Now, we look to President Biden to end the embargo, something Barack Obama called for in 2016. This embargo is a blatant human rights violation and it must come to an end.”
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