Police detain a person during a protest in Havana, Cuba, July 11, 2021. (Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters)
Black Lives Matter issued a statement Wednesday blaming the U.S. for the deprivation which resulted in thousands of Cubans taking to the streets in anti-government protests on Sunday, and demanded that President Biden lift the economic embargo against the Communist nation.
BLM alleged that the “cruel and inhumane” embargo policy, rather than the Cuban regime, has interfered with the people’s right to self-determination and lies “at the heart” of Cuba’s turmoil.
Thousands of Cubans marched in demonstration over the weekend to air their grievances with food and medicine shortages, power outages, and the slow COVID vaccination distribution — but mainly to demand an end to the communist dictatorship.
The BLM statement suggests the protestors are rejecting the unfairness of the U.S. moratorium on trade with Cuba, which it claims has yielded inadequate medical supplies and COVID vaccines, despite chants in the street for “Libertad” and other slogans repudiating the authoritarian regime of president Miguel Diaz-Canel.
“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,” the statement read.
“The people of Cuba are being punished by the U.S. government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination,” it adds.
While the Obama administration had relaxed the embargo with Cuba, the succeeding Trump administration largely reinstated and tightened it.
The statement accuses the United States of trying to squash the Cuban people’s attempts to liberate themselves and “crush this Revolution” for decades. It praises the Cuban government for historically showing “solidarity with oppressed peoples of African descent,” despite its long record of committing egregious human rights abuses against its own citizens and political dissenters.
Ignoring the brutality and oppression perpetrated by the Cuban tyranny, BLM concludes that the United States’ embargo on Cuba constitutes a “blatant human rights violation.”
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