In the middle of the recent peaceful protests in Communist Cuba and the repression of protesters at the hands of the Cuban security apparatus, Black Lives Matter (BLM) issued a statement on its official Instagram account on July 14, 2021, in support of the Cuban Government. I will analyze and rebut the different parts of the BLM statement in the following paragraphs.
It merits our attention that while BLM professes a Marxist ideology, its willingness to betray it evinces its opportunistic demeanor. According to Marx, society was divided into two categories that were in dialectical conflict constantly: the oppressors or bourgeoisie, and the oppressed or the proletariat. Let it be known that when the bells of freedom tolled in Cuba, BLM stood with the oppressors rather than with the oppressed – in direct contradiction of the Marxist ideology. BLM apologists only invoke Marx when he is useful to their leftist propaganda.
BLM wrote that “Cuba has historically demonstrated solidarity with oppressed peoples of African descent,” praising it for “protecting black revolutionaries” like Assata Shakur.
Assata Shakur – also known as Joanne Chesimard – is an African American woman who was convicted of being an accomplice in the 1973 slaying of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster. She later escaped prison and fled to Cuba, where Fidel Castro granted her asylum. Considering that BLM has sided with the oppressors in the Cuban debacle, you think that they would have sided with State Trooper Foerster – a White male and in eyes of the BLM doctrine, another oppressor. But the fact that they supported Assata Shakur (the “alleged” victim in BLM’s eyes) shows the inconsistency of their actions to fit the needs of the moment.
Through its support of “critical race theory,” BLM looks at white as the color of discrimination. But the majority of the security forces of the Cuban Government are white, while many of the protestors are Afro-Cubans. BLM sided with the oppressors this time around. Afro-Cubans have played important roles in the liberation of Cuba from tyranny – dating back to the War of Independence against Spain to the present human-rights dissidents. By its actions, BLM stands with the forces that deny the Cuban population its freedom.
BLM writes “The people of Cuba are being punished by the U.S. Government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination.”
Freedom House, a nonpartisan organization in Washington, DC, ranked Cuba as one of the least free countries in the world by scoring 13 – out of a possible score of 100. When it comes to political rights, Cuba got a 1 out of a top score of 40. And regarding civil liberties, Cuba got a 12 out of possible score of 60. One thing is for sure, Cubans of all colors, races, ethnicities, and genders are deprived of most of their liberties by the Cuban Government. The only “sovereignty and self-determination” that exists in Cuba is controlled by the communist despots who have ruined the country since 1959.
But BLM argues that the U.S. embargo is “at the heart of Cuba’s current crisis,” and urges the U.S. Federal Government to lift it immediately.
On October 19, 1960, President Eisenhower imposed an embargo on exports to Cuba except for food and medicines after Cuba nationalized U.S. businesses without compensating its owners for their losses. On February 7, 1962, President Kennedy extended the embargo to include all exports. In 1996, the U.S. Congress codified the embargo by passing the Libertad Act (Helms-Burton Act) – after Cuban fighters shot down two privately-owned planes by U.S. citizens over international waters. So, the embargo can only be changed by an act of the U.S. Congress. Its key requirement is that Cuba must pay for U.S. exports with cash only – not credit. The main responsibility of the U.S. Government is to protect its own citizens – not the Cuban Government – and this is precisely what the U.S. embargo tries to enforce.
And, let’s clarify some other important details about the U.S. embargo. Although the Cuban Government and its Marxist acolytes at the United Nations and other leftist organizations are in the habit of calling it a “blockade” for propagandistic purposes to impugn the United States, it is only a trade embargo, not a naval blockade. It is also unilateral in nature. The Cuban Government has traded extensively with other countries in past decades. In fact, Cuba received a generous subsidy from the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution in 1991, and subsidized oil shipments of crude oil from Venezuela. And despite all of these subsidies from communist countries and despite a myriad of empty promises for sixty-two years, the Cuban people have to endure the daily indignities of standing in long lines to buy food and medicines, suffer repeated electricity outages, and earn a monthly salary of $30.
It is obvious that BLM is supporting the wrong side in this uprising!
You don’t see many Americans fleeing to live in Cuba. But there are more than 2 million Cuban Americans who left Cuba, or whose families left Cuba, to come to live in the U.S. And they have been very successful in our country. Even former President Obama acknowledged the obvious when he said in a speech in Havana: “In the United States, there is a clear monument to what the Cuban people can build. It’s called Miami.” In fact, I think that most Americans would support legislation to allow BLM members to immigrate to Communist Cuba and allow freedom-loving Cubans to come live in the United States.
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel used the same line of reasoning for assigning blame for the anti-government protests: the United States Government, the U.S. embargo, and the alleged Cuban-American mafia/mercenaries paid by the U.S. Government. He urged his supporters to take to the streets and fight the peaceful protestors in “a decisive, firm, and courageous way.” The Cuban Government security forces have resorted to arbitrary detentions and torture of its own citizens for criticizing their government and protesting peacefully. It is the Cuban people who must be yelling “No Justice, No Peace!” – and rightfully so.
The government of Cuba denies the most basic human rights and civil liberties to the Cuban people. It has been acting in this manner for over sixty-two years. It has been making excuses for the lack of freedoms by invoking slogans like “Patria or Muerte” or “Homeland or Death.” Deprived and oppressed Cubans have reached their boiling point this month, and have revolted against their oppressors. They are demanding an end to the communist rule and its replacement with liberty, freedom, and democracy. Their new slogan is “Patria y Vida” or “Homeland and Life.”
You don’t hear the Cuban protesters crying for an end to the U.S. embargo, or blaming the United States Government for the poor living conditions in the Caribbean Island, or calling Cuban-Americans pejoratives. None of that! Instead, protesters are crying “Abajo la dictadura” (“Down with the dictatorship) and “Libertad!” (“Freedom!) – while waving American flags.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) had the right thing in mind when he commented; “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.”
These protests are the beginning of the end for the Communist dictatorship in Cuba. Cuba will be free again. Cubans will never forget who stood with them at the moment of utmost challenge and controversy. It was not Black Lives Matter!!!