Amid pro-freedom demonstrations in Cuba and solidarity protests in the US, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blamed the oppression of the island's citizens on the historical legacy of America's decades-old embargo, citing "US contribution to Cuban suffering."
"We stand in solidarity with the Cuban people and condemn the suppression of the media, speech and protest," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, although it was noted she spent more words denouncing the United States than Cuba's communist regime.
"Pretty much on brand: 45 words condemning Cuban regime. 83 words condemning America," commented RealClearPolitics president Tom Bevan.
Ocasio-Cortez also called for an end to the US embargo and "additional Trump-era restrictions" that she said are "profoundly contributing to the suffering of Cubans."
According to the lawmaker's Thursday statement, Ocasio-Cortez said she stands in solidarity with the Cuban protesters and condemns the anti-democratic actions led by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel. "The suppression of the media, speech and protest are all gross violations of civil rights," the press release read.
"We also must name the US contribution to Cuban suffering: our sixty-year-old embargo," Ocasio-Cortez pivoted, underscoring that last month the United Nations voted once again to call on the United States to lift its embargo on Cuba. Washington then countered the annual UN general assembly resolution that overwhelmingly lambasted the US economic embargo on Cuba for the 29th year.
She called the embargo "absurdly cruel" and "like too many other US policies targeting Latin Americans, the cruelty is the point," the Squad member declared.
The progressive New York congresswoman said she rejects the Biden administration's alleged defense of the embargo. "It is never acceptable for us to use cruelty as a point of leverage against every day people," she stated.
In a video statement, the young Democrat added: "Now the other piece of this is the US administration. What's extraordinarily important for us to communicate as well as is the actions and US contributions to the suffering of Cubans on the island as well. And that is directly related to the embargo, the US embargo..."
Ocasio-Cortez parroted the establishment media's anti-Trump talking point amid Cuba's pro-democracy demonstrations. The mainstream press has accused former President Donald Trump of causing oppression and economic ruin in Cuba.
CBS News pointed the finger of blame Monday at the Trump administration's policies for Cuba's poverty and crumbling economy. The corporate media outlet amplified Díaz-Canel's excuse that the civil unrest erupting in Cuba is an objection to economic backsliding caused by Trump's time.
CNN's chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins also blamed Trump for the anti-communism protests in Cuba, instead of the island's authoritarian regime.
At the White House press briefing Monday, the CNN reporter questioned Biden press secretary Jen Psaki as to why current sanctions that were put in place by the Trump administration have not been changed by the Biden presidency.
"So why is the Biden administration continuing that policy?" Collins asked Psaki, emphasizing that exiles cannot send aid to family still living in Cuba.
Psaki said that even under the embargo, there are several exemptions such as humanitarian assistance and medical supplies. "But I have nothing to preview for you in terms of a change of policy," Psaki told Collins.
The Biden administration also claimed at the same White House presser that recent efforts had more to do with concerns over the surge of COVID-19 cases on the island than an impassioned desire for liberty.
Psaki called the protests "spontaneous expressions" and failed to issue a harsh condemnation of communism, socialism, or the regime that caused what the White House spokeswoman labeled as "economic mismanagement."
The official Black Lives Matter organization also issued a statement condemning the US government over its "inhumane treatment" of the Cuban people, claiming that the aforementioned trade concerns were igniting the uprising.
Political coordinator for the US mission Rodney Hunter said during the United Nations vote that sanctions are "one set of tools in Washington's broader effort toward Cuba to advance democracy, promote respect for human rights, and help the Cuban people exercise fundamental freedoms."
Hunter emphasized that despite the blockade, the United States recognizes "the challenges of the Cuban people" and has been "a significant supplier of humanitarian goods to the Cuban people and one of Cuba's principal trading partners."
Hunter cited that every year, America authorizes billions of dollars-worth of exports to Cuba, including food and other agricultural commodities, medicines, medical devices, telecommunications equipment, among other goods, to support the Cuban citizens. "Advancing democracy and human rights remain at the core of our policy efforts," the political coordinator said.
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