Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio criticized the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization after it posted a statement on Instagram Wednesday night blaming the U.S. government for the current crisis in Cuba.
In addition to pointing fingers at the U.S., the statement also highlights its praise and support of the Communist regime in Cuba because of the country’s so-called history of protecting “Black revolutionaries.”
The first paragraph of the post reads, “Black Lives Matter condemns the U.S. federal government’s inhumane treatment of Cubans, and urges it to immediately lift the economic embargo. This 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. 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.”
In response, Rubio told Fox News, “The only embargo in Cuba is the one the Cuban Government has imposed on its own people. Do you know who the number one food exporter to Cuba is? The United States of America.” He continues to say, “We send over $200 million a year in medicine and humanitarian supplies,” and “over $3 billion, which is a significant percentage of their overall economy, are remittances from Cuban-Americans to their family members [in Cuba].”
He adds, “What the embargo in Cuba is, the Cuban government will not allow a Cuban to own a business … they’re the ones that have an embargo against their own people. If they allow their people to open businesses, there’s nothing in the law that prohibits us from being able to do business with independent people. What you can’t do business with is a military-owned company that controls that revenue and then uses it to control and repress people.”
BLM explained in their statement that the reason for supporting the Cuban government is because of its “solidarity with oppressed peoples of African descent,” most notably citing the country’s protection of “Black revolutionary,” Assata Shakur. Shakur, previously Joanne Chesimard, was convicted for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper, and fled to Cuba in 1979 after escaping prison.
When asked about Shakur, Rubio states, “I hope their audience sees who they are now. She’s a cop killer … that tells you everything you need to know about that organization.”
As far as Cuba protecting people of African descent, he states, “If you look at the videos, it’s obvious Cuba has a substantial percentage of people of African descent … a lot of them were getting their heads cracked open by that regime … They [BLM] need to watch these videos and stop talking all this nonsense.”
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]