Reuters faced backlash Wednesday with a piece asserting COVID-19 is a threat to the ongoing demonstrations against the Communist regime in Cuba.
Pundits were quick to slam the outlet. Stephen Miller, contributor for The Spectator, cited a July 2020 Reuters report which said "there has yet to be conclusive evidence of large-scale spread" from the BLM riots and protests.
In their article regarding Cuba, Reuters cited the controversial Pan American Health Organization which is currently facing scrutiny over human trafficking and forced labor concerns.
Reuters amplified a message from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that urged Cubans to refrain from protesting over COVID concerns. "The gathering of individuals for protests... increases the risk of transmission, in particular in cases such as Cuba where you have active transmission in many areas over the last week and 34,244 new cases reported," said PAHO’s director of health emergencies. The director also cited the ominous Delta variant as a cause for concern.
Pan American Health Organization is being sued by Cuban doctors for forced labor. Per the Wall Street Journal, it’s said these "overseas medical missions" generate "over half of Cuba’s national budget."
In an amicus brief, US Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) condemned the PAHO for subjecting "more than 10,000 Cuban medical professionals to forced labor conditions in Brazil."
Reuters described the protests in Cuba as being a response to officials handling the pandemic response, and the failure to provide basic necessities like food and power.
Wednesday, the Biden administration publicly denied Cuban refugees safe harbor in the US, despite months of leniency at the US - Mexico border. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki avoided using the term 'Communism' to describe the mass unrest in the island country.