Sen. Marco Rubio has offered to help the leaders of the organization emigrate to the island.
The Black Lives Matter movement, which has led racial protest and was one of the major opponents of some of Donald Trump’s policies, has released an inflammatory statement blaming the United States and its embargo for Cuba’s poverty and anguish.
“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,” Black Lives Matter wrote in a statement posted on Instagram. Black Lives Matter added, “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.”
There was no mention in the statement of the repressive measures against dissidents or the detention of journalists. The organization does say that “Cuba has historically demonstrated solidarity with oppressed peoples of African descent, from protecting Black revolutionaries like Assata Shakur through granting her asylum, to supporting Black liberation struggles in Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and South Africa.” Shakur is, in fact, Joanne Deborah Byron, who was convicted of murder in the U.S. and lives in Cuba as a fugitive, wanted by the FBI.
Black Lives Matter acknowledged the Cuban regime‘s “strong medical care and history of lending doctors and nurses to disasters around the world.” Many international agencies, including the Organization of American States, have denounced the regime for the slavery-like conditions of the doctors Cuba sends abroad, whose services have been lucrative for Castroism.
Annoyance among Republicans
Several Republicans have criticized Black Lives Matter’s apparent support for Cuba. Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted, “Shameful. The group Black Lives Matter (funded by major players in corporate America) was founded by avowed Marxists and — as millions of Cubans risk their lives to rise up for freedom — BLM stands with … the communist dictatorship.”
Sen. Marco Rubio was highly critical as well. “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.” Rubio tweeted an invitation to the leaders of that organization — which was created to fight racism — to emigrate to Cuba, and said that he would be happy to help them do so.
Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 to fight against racism, and is currently a formidable political organization, ideologically close to the Democrats.