Black Lives Matter (BLM) faces a fresh round of backlash after posting a statement blasting the U.S. and praising Cuba’s government while the island is dealing with mass protests.
The statement, which was initially posted on Instagram and later posted on Twitter, blamed the U.S. embargo for Cuba’s rising protests and instability. The message also praised the Cuban government for historically granting Black revolutionaries asylum.
BLM said Cuba is being “punished by the U.S. government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination.” BLM also added that Cuba has been an ally with the “oppressed peoples of African descent” and praised the country’s effort to protect “Black revolutionaries like Assata Shakur.”
Black Lives Matter has released a statement on Cuba: pic.twitter.com/NgnT1o1oZE
— Sabrina Rodríguez (@sabrod123) July 15, 2021
BLM issued its statement around the same time Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel admitted in a press conference Wednesday that his government’s failures have played a role in the protests and unrest. However, he also blamed U.S. sanctions installed by former President Donald Trump.
In the last year, Cuba has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, which resulted in a significant hit to its tourism industry. Additionally, the country has also been hurt by inefficiencies in its state-run government.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took shots at the BLM organization in a tweet linked to the statement.
“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,” Rubio tweeted.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken quickly denied the claims by Díaz-Canel and BLM that the U.S. is to blame for Cuba’s issues saying Cuban residents are tired of living in a mismanaged economy.
“That is what we are hearing and seeing in Cuba, and that is a reflection of the Cuban people, not of the United States or any other outside actor,” Blinken said, according to Fox News.
CNBC reported the State Department is considering an array of options to help Cuban residents.