Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.
As the Cuban people engage in unprecedented mass protests against their authoritarian government, those who have not-so-subtly expressed admiration or even thinly veiled support for the Marxist regime are being called out by Cuban-Americans who know far more acutely just how cruel and wicked the dictatorship is.
This was most certainly the case with UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal, whose father fled Cuba on a raft assembled from discarded tires as a teenager.
Masvidal, while expressing his emphatic opposition to the communist regime on social media, called out famed anthem kneeler Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who peppered his divisive, anti-American protests in 2016 by expressing admiration for longtime Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
“Know ur history and facts cowards like this fool should be sent to live in Cuba see what they say after a day there,” Masvidal bluntly wrote in an Instagram story along with a photo of Kaepernick sporting a T-shirt with an image of Castro.
The photo was included in a graphic from the conservative group Turning Point USA and read, “American leftists who know nothing about real oppression & communism wear images of Castro… while Cubans living in the horrors of communism and real oppression are waving the American flag.”
In November 2016, Kaepernick was asked why he had chosen to wear a shirt that depicted a brutal dictator.
While he admitted that there was “oppression” in Cuba, he said the country also had, you know, like, education and stuff.
“I agree with the investment in education,” Kaepernick told reporters at the time. “I also agree with the investment in free universal health care as well as the involvement in helping end apartheid in South Africa. … I would hope that everybody agrees those things are good things. And trying to push the false narrative that I was a supporter of the oppressive things that he did is just not true.”
“We do break up families here,” he also said of the U.S., showing a painful degree of ignorance as to the suffering of the Cuban people and the decades of imprisonment for dissidence. “That’s what mass incarceration is. That was the foundation of slavery. So our country has been based on that as well as the genocide of Native Americans.”
Yes, that’s where Kaepernick went with this. Sure, Cuba’s sort of bad, but they taught people to read, and what’s way, way worse is that mass incarceration of American criminals is the same thing as chattel slavery.
Masvidal, for his part, also decried the Cuban regime as a “killing machine” in a video posted to Twitter last week.
“I use my platforms to do what I feel is correct and what I feel everybody should be doing is fighting against oppression, dictatorships, communism and anything of that nature,” he said Monday.
“My father escaped Cuba when he was 14 years old and I’ve only heard the horror stories since I could process thoughts of how sh**ty this communist regime killing machine is,” Masvidal explained in the video. “So I just want to shed some light on Cuba, big SOS signal for them,” referring to the #SOSCuba hashtag that is being used by and to support the protesters.
The MMA star said that “this oppression has been going on for 61 years” and that it didn’t start with the pandemic.
“They’ve been out of medicine, they’ve been out of resources and food because of the corrupt government, the extreme corruption over there where only a few at the top eat and everybody else just has to suffer — those days have to come to an end,” Masvidal said.
Left-wing figures such as New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the activist group Black Lives Matter have denounced the U.S. trade embargo as being behind the Cuban people’s suffering, with BLM going as far as to accuse the United States of trying to undermine the “Cubans’ right to choose their own government” — a “right” that millions of Cubans most certainly do not have.
Masvidal said “it’s time for the whole world to rally behind Cuba,” encouraging his followers to express their support for the protests on social media.
“Let’s defeat these f***ing evil communist motherf***ers, man. God bless everybody watching and thank you,” he concluded.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) July 13, 2021
Choice words, but one can hardly criticize his scathing characterization of the Cuban government.
It’s easy enough to idealize nationwide reading programs or supposedly universal health care when you live in a nation where you are free to criticize the government, as Kaepernick did when he began kneeling for our national anthem and as he still does.
The folks at Black Lives Matter still choose to reside in our country as well, despite the fact that the Cuban government would no doubt welcome such vehemently anti-American Marxist activists with open arms.
After all, they use the exact same talking points about the cause for Cuba’s suffering, so they’re already well on their way to a no doubt formidable (though one doubts it would be lucrative) career in the Cuban government’s propaganda arm.
It’s almost cliché now but cannot cease to be said: If the Cuban government is so moral and well-intentioned, why do those who sympathize with the wicked regime not travel there?
Kaepernick admitted that the government had engaged in human rights abuses, as he has vocally denounced his own government of doing for years.
Perhaps he could spend some time in Cuba, protesting its abuses by kneeling for the communist country’s anthem.
He and Black Lives Matter oppose police brutality, so maybe they’d do better to protest the brutality exercised by Cuban police officers:
A thread of videos, stories, etc., showing what’s happening in cuba. #SOSCuba ??
Context: A woman has been beat to death by police for protesting against the Cuban regime.
“Look they beat her to death, look. Look at how they beat people to death.” pic.twitter.com/6ZiMQdmohf
— tuntun (@tuntunluzxrdo) July 17, 2021
Police chase and beat Cuban protester with batons. Funny, I don’t see the protester’s weapon. Funny, it looks like he’s trying to run for his life. ENOUGH is ENOUGH. #SOSCubaLibre #CubaLibre #soscuba #cuba #cubalibremovement pic.twitter.com/A0jIGcTDrs
— CUBA LIBRÈ MOVEMENT (@CUBAMOVEMENT) July 15, 2021
Strangely, Kaepernick chooses to stay in the country where he can enjoy his millions and pretend to fight for the freedom he undeniably enjoys and has most certainly not been deprived of in any degree even comparable to that of the oppressed Cuban people.
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