Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was scolded by a fellow Democrat Thursday after she blamed the United States for the hardships stalking Cuba under its Communist regime.
After days in which the self-described Democratic socialist kept mum about the protests that swept through Cuba, Ocasio-Cortez lashed out at the United States over the embargo the U.S. has had in place since 1962.
“We also must name the U.S contribution to Cuban suffering: our sixty-year-old embargo,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement.
“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 every day people.”
We stand in solidarity with the Cuban people and condemn the suppression of the media, speech and protest.
We also call for an end to the U.S. embargo and additional Trump-era restrictions that are profoundly contributing to the suffering of Cubans. pic.twitter.com/Fw6Quv5TAN
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) July 16, 2021
In an accompanying tweet, she also criticized “additional Trump-era restrictions that are profoundly contributing to the suffering of Cubans.”
Former Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Florida said Ocasio-Cortez had it all wrong.
“No. This is not correct. It’s the failed policies of a communist regime that has violated human rights, imprisoned & killed dissidents. Cuban ppl -young & old- are risking their lives to rise up, we must listen to them. This is a matter of national security. The US must act,” she tweeted.
No. This is not correct.
It’s the failed policies of a communist regime that has violated human rights, imprisoned & killed dissidents.
Cuban ppl -young & old- are risking their lives to rise up, we must listen to them.
This is a matter of national security.
The US must act. https://t.co/Wne0crVV8w
— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) July 16, 2021
Mucarsel-Powell elaborated upon her position.
“As we meet this historic moment of hope for a free Cuba, we do so with a clear recognition that the suffering endured by the Cuban people happened as as a result of a failed communist doctrine and regime propped up by oppression & authoritarianism. This truth is key. #SOSCuba,” she tweeted.
As we meet this historic moment of hope for a free Cuba, we do so with a clear recognition that the suffering endured by the Cuban people happened as as a result of a failed communist doctrine and regime propped up by oppression & authoritarianism. This truth is key. #SOSCuba
— Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (@DebbieforFL) July 15, 2021
Ocasio-Cortez’s shot at the United States put her in the same company with Black Lives Matter — which tweeted its support for Cuba and its opposition to the U.S. embargo — and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who also tweeted to trash the United States.
All people have the right to protest and to live in a democratic society. I call on the Cuban government to respect opposition rights and refrain from violence. It’s also long past time to end the unilateral U.S. embargo on Cuba, which has only hurt, not helped, the Cuban people.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 13, 2021
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas pushed back against them.
When you’ve got Bernie Sanders and AOC embracing and advocating for socialism in America, they don’t want to look at the torture, murder, and oppression and poverty that’s happening in Cuba. pic.twitter.com/Lg8IpHvUnz
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 15, 2021
In an Op-Ed in National Review, Cruz — whose father fled Cuba in the 1950s — wrote that in the wake of Cuba’s protests, “America must respond. Over the past few days, the world has seen that the American people stand squarely with the men and women of Cuba and their noble fight for liberty.
“Worryingly, however, the Biden administration has stopped short of strong support for those marching in the streets of Cuba. In statement after statement, as protesters swept into the streets, administration officials have failed to unequivocally support the protesters and failed to condemn the regime,” he wrote.
“Unfortunately, it’s not difficult to imagine why this administration is reticent to support the crowds waving American flags protesting the Cuban regime,” he continued. “The Obama administration spent enormous time, resources, and diplomatic capital blaming American foreign policy for the plight of Cubans and working to dismantle international pressure on the Cuban regime. The Democrat Party remains indebted to, and committed to, that approach.”
“America must be clear: We support the protesters against the crackdown, and anyone who participates in suppressing the Cuban people will be held accountable by us — and by them.”
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