Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called on the US to ends its embargo on Cuba, calling it “absurdly cruel.”
The story: Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks mark the first time that the congresswoman weighs in on the situation in Cuba since protests erupted on the island on Sunday.
The New York lawmaker accused the U.S. of playing a role in the economic crisis in Cuba, citing the embargo on the state. She also expressed support for the protesters and criticized Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel.
Her remarks: “We stand in solidarity with them, and we condemn the anti-democratic actions led by President Díaz-Canel,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a statement. “The suppression of the media, speech and protest are all gross violations of civil rights.”
“We also must name the U.S. contribution to Cuban suffering: our sixty-year-old embargo,” she continued pointing to the United Nations’ condemnation of the U.S. embargo on Cuba. The U.N. has been condemning the embargo since 1992.
“The embargo is absurdly cruel and, like too many other U.S. policies targeting Latin Americans, the cruelty is the point,” the lawmaker wrote. “I outright reject the Biden administration’s defense of the embargo. It is never acceptable for us to use cruelty as a point of leverage against everyday people.”
At least one Democratic lawmaker pushed back against Ocasio-Cortez’s statement.
Not a first: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also tweeted that the U.S. embargo on Cuba had “only hurt, not helped, the Cuban people.”
Meanwhile, the Black Lives Matter organization came under fire for accusing the U.S. of contributing to Cuba’s economic troubles. The group denounced the embargo and credited Cuba’s government for granting asylum to “Black revolutionaries” in the past.
“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,” the organization said of the U.S. embargo.
The statement came around the time that Díaz-Canel said in a televised address that his government’s actions were partially responsible for the protests in Cuba over food shortages and other issues.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.