The Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization defended police brutality by Cuba’s communist regime — a regime estimated to have killed tens of thousands of its own people – in a social media post on Thursday responding to nationwide protests on the island.
In the Thursday post, BLM blamed U.S. government sanctions and America’s alleged “inhumane treatment” of Cubans for crippling the country. Then, BLM asserted Cubans have chosen their own government and that support for pro-democracy dissidents inhibits their right to self-determination.
“This cruel and inhuman 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,” the post reads. (Emphasis added).
In reality, communist dictator Fidel Castro took over the country in a violent siege in 1959, despite never having won an election. Fidel, his successor and brother Raúl, and current figurehead President Miguel Díaz-Canel have all not stood in any election since 1959, despite being the nation’s only leaders in those 62 years.
The people of Cuba are being punished by the U.S. government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination. Unites 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. (emphasis added).
BLM further claimed the Cuban government has supported oppressed people and touted the government’s protection of “Black revolutionaries like Assata Shakur,” an American citizen named Joanne Chesimard who was convicted of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1977. Shakur escaped from prison in 1979 and received “political” asylum in Cuba in 1984, Breitbart News reported.
BLM’s post comes four days after protests began in Cuba on Sunday. Thousands of Cubans took to the streets in more than 40 municipalities calling for the end of communism. Protesters were caught on camera yelling slogans like “down with communism,” “they [the regime] must leave,” and “fuck Díaz-Canel!” among other anti-government statements. Notably, protesters were seen cloaked in American flags, embracing the United States rather than condemning it for its alleged embargo.
Even though BLM claims to be against police brutality, especially against black people, the organization did not mention the atrocities being documented on video throughout Cuba at the hands of police. Since protests began, police have opened fire on crowds and beaten people in the streets, a large number of them Afro-Cubans. Independent media confirmed the arrests of at least 5,000 people since protests, Breitbart reported. Díaz-Canel openly called on civilians to violently attack protesters on the streets in an “order of combat” issued late Sunday.
At the end of its post, BLM called for the end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba and alleged the U.S. has “instigated suffering” by “cutting off food, medicine and supplies.”
The U.S. embargo policy on Cuba does not prevent the shipment of food, medicine, or any humanitarian aid.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, “Cubans import more than $2 billion in agricultural products annually, with $150 million of those sales coming from the U.S. Cuba also receives millions in foreign aid from the U.S. every year.” As far as travel goes, in 2019, nearly 500,000 people traveled from the US to Cuba, compared to more than 638,000 in 2018, CNN reported.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is Cuban-American, has been very vocal about his support of the Cuban people — especially in light of an unenthusiastic response from the U.S. federal government. Explaining the issue of trade with Cuba, he said of the embargo during a Tuesday speech on the Senate floor:
You can open up all you want. We can pass a bill here that says, “Open to Cuba. A hundred percent open.” Full free trade, you can do whatever you want. At the end of the day, the Cuban regime will control that opening. It’s not just what we want to do, it’s what they want to do.
…They will use any opening as a tool — as a weapon — against their people, because that’s what socialism does…That’s what these Marxists do in Cuba. They will use anything as a weapon against the people of Cuba.
BLM was founded by leaders trained in Marxism, which is the philosophical underpinning of communism. Communism, which is the ruling political system in Cuba, has resulted in the deaths of at least 100 million people around the world over several decades.
One of the group’s founders, Opal Tometi, is also an open supporter of Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro. Maduro has presided over one of the world’s most repressive regimes since 2013 when his predecessor Hugo Chávez died. Under Maduro, Venezuelan police forces have committed a long list of human rights atrocities including the torture, kidnapping, rape, and killing of unarmed protesters.
“Tometi also served as an election observer in socialist Venezuela during the 2015 legislative elections. She praised the socialist dictatorship as ‘a place where there is intelligent political discourse’ on Twitter during one of the bloodiest years of police brutality in the country,” Breitbart News reported.