Commentary: Leftists encounter messaging problem amid Cuba uprising

It’s always fascinating when so-called progressives praise theocratic Islamists and communists who deny rights to gays and ethnic minorities.

A Cuban flag adorns the Freedom Tower in Miami during a protest Saturday. (Jeanette Nunez/Twitter)

As Cubans fill the streets to demonstrate against their Marxist government for the first time in over a quarter-century, the American Left confronts a messaging problem.

Millions on the island are using United States-backed censorship evasion software to get around the regime’s social media crackdown.

“Something changed. What is clear now is that the rupture between the people and the regime is complete,” Sen. Marco Rubio said. “They’ve lost their legitimacy to govern. It’s time for a change to begin on the island.”

While most Americans are pleased to see a North Korean-style dictatorship only 90 miles from our shores on the precipice of extinction, those running Black Lives Matter are not. The radical left group recently berated the U.S. for “sanctions” on the communist state.

“Black Lives Matter condemns the U.S. federal government’s inhumane treatment of Cubans, and urges it to immediately lift the economic embargo,” they claimed. “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.”

There’s not an iota of truth in this statement, but also no condemnation of the authoritarian regime violently suppressing people of color.

“When will the corporations like Coca-Cola, Nike and Amazon that tweet ‘black lives matter’ realize that the organization isn’t dedicated to fighting racial injustice?” Eddie Scarry wrote in the New York Post. “It’s a Marxist group that believes the United States is so racist that all of our society can only be fixed by tearing it down. It’s against our free market, our institutions, and our democracy. BLM isn’t about racism in America and it doesn’t care about the Cuban government’s oppression of its own people. BLM is about making us Cuba.”

BLM apparently favors police violence when it’s carried out by a Marxist regime. It’s also ironic that BLM’s solution to Cuba’s economic woes is a free-trade relationship with capitalist America. Is support for free trade an admission that communism is flawed?

Never missing a chance to rant on a topic she doesn’t understand, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called the embargo “absurdly cruel.”

But Cuba maintains extensive trade relationships with countries around the world. The embargo also does not restrict food or medicine, so that’s irrelevant, AOC.

What’s going on south of Florida is not about trade or even COVID-19; it is the result of a communist regime that continues to violently repress its people.

“It may comfort the diehard left to imagine that Washington is at the root of the island’s distress, but there is a reason why those throngs of brave Cubans in the streets last week were chanting ‘Down with the dictatorship!’ and not ‘Down with the embargo!'” Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wrote Wednesday. “They know that their agony is caused by the ruthless despots who for more than six decades have stopped at nothing to keep them in chains.”

The increase in COVID infections on the island also exposes its porous health care system’s lack of supplies. Michael Moore and Bernie Sanders could not be reached for comment.

But appearing Wednesday at a town hall in Miami’s Little Havana with Rubio and Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis encouraged the Biden administration to “step up and be on the side of freedom.”

“If he’s willing to do that, they will make a positive difference,” he said. “As it stands now, he’s basically just sitting there doing nothing.”

Perhaps the Biden administration received the message. On Thursday, they announced sanctions on Cuban Minister of Defense Alvaro Lopez Miera and the Cuban Ministry of the Interior’s Special National Brigade for “facilitating the repression of peaceful, pro-democratic protests in Cuba.”

Last week, Alejandro Mayorkas also exposed himself as a cruel hypocrite. The secretary of homeland security was born in Havana just before the Cuban Revolution, and his family was lucky enough to flee to America.

But Mayorkas, who won’t secure our southern border, refuses asylum for Cuban refugees escaping violence and struggling for freedom. Where is the compassion? A cynic would say it’s political, since Cubans are inclined to vote Republican, especially as American Democrats embrace that authoritarian system.

It’s always fascinating when so-called progressives praise theocratic Islamists and communists who deny rights to gays and ethnic minorities.

The denial of human rights and inequality plagues all Cubans, but disproportionately Afro-Cubans.

The majority of white Cuban households have relatives living outside the country; for non-white people, the numbers are 30 to 40 percent. Afro-Cubans who lack a relative living abroad are destined to work in the low-wage, state-run economy.

Additionally, only 5 percent of the 25,000 students at the University of Havana are black or brown.

The prison population is disproportionately black.

And about two-thirds of white Cubans have annual incomes under $3,000, yet among Afro-Cubans that proportion is close to 95 percent.

It’s no surprise Havana’s primarily Afro-Cuban neighborhoods are the centers of the largest recent demonstrations. The Patria y Vida song that’s become a rallying cry for freedom was written by an Afro-Cuban.

Even the New York Times permitted a guest essay this week from a Cuban journalist, who explained, “The Cuban people have grown up watching the bellies of Communist officials grow while they have difficulty putting food on the table. They no longer fear risking their lives in the streets, because they are slowly losing their lives anyway, waiting in long lines to buy food, traveling on crowded buses and enduring prolonged power outages.”

The utopian Cuban regime that AOC, BLM, Nikole-Hannah Jones and Sanders praise no longer exists; if it ever did, it never valued human life and is fundamentally racist.