Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., broke her silence Thursday on anti- communism, pro-freedom protests that have broken out in Cuba by partially blaming the suffering of "everyday people" on the historical legacy of the U.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.
She called the communist government’s suppression of media, speech and
protest "gross violations of civil rights."
But she then evoked the United States’ "contribution" to what is turning
out to be Cuba’s worst crisis in decades.
"We also must name the U.S. contribution to Cuban suffering: our sixty- year-old embargo," she said.
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Her comments came after Black Lives Matter issued a statement also blaming
the U.S. embargo for the country's instability and credited the Cuban government for historically granting "Black revolutionaries" asylum.
BLM called for the U.S. to lift the sanctions that are "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."
Like Ocasio-Cortez, fellow Democrats have parroted Cuba’s communist government’s own talking points, blaming the U.S., rather than the
communist government for its plight. Many have called on President Joe
Biden to end the decades-long embargo on the country.
The U.S. imposed the embargo after Fidel Castro overthrew the U.S.-backed regime of Batista in 1959. Since then, presidential administrations have renewed the embargo, which is intended to isolate Cuba economically and diplomatically.
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Former President Barack Obama attempted to normalize relations with Cuba
during his second term. Those policies were reversed under President
Donald Trump, who imposed new sanctions.
Last month, the United States voted against a U.N. resolution that overwhelmingly condemned the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba for the 29th
Ocasio-Cortez called the embargo "absurdly cruel," adding that "like too
many other U.S. policies targeting Latin Americans, the cruelty is the
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"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," she wrote.