Black Lives Matter Faces Backlash for Cuba Statement: 'So Much Wrong'

Black Lives Matter is facing strong criticism on social media following a statement the organization made on Wednesday about the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.

The organization issued the statement via Instagram amid rare protests in the country against the nation's authoritarian Communist government. BLM urged the U.S. to "immediately lift the economic embargo" against Cuba.

The statement said the embargo had "the explicit intention of destabilizing the country and undermining Cubans' right to choose their own government." BLM's statement went on to say that the Cuban people are "being punished by the U.S. government."

Many on social media criticized BLM for the comments and also took aim at the Cuban regime, pointing out that it is a dictatorship.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote: "The extortionist ring known as the Black Lives Matter organization took a break today from shaking down corporations for millions & buying themselves mansions to share their support for the Communist regime in #Cuba."

Carlos Frías is the editor of Miami Herald Food and the author of Take Me With You: A Secret Search for Family in a Forbidden Cuba. He said BLM's statement showed a misunderstanding of history.

"There's so much wrong with this, such little understanding of history and humanity for a long-oppressed Cuban people, it's no wonder there is such an ideological gap between BLM and the Cubans who were exiled and had to make a whole new life, with no history, in a new country," Frías wrote.

Emily Schrader, a columnist with Israel's Jerusalem Post who describes herself as a feminist in her Twitter bio, also criticized BLM's statement.

"Apparently Black Lives Matter unless it's black lives in Cuba living under a communist dictatorship who want to be free," Schrader wrote. "Marxism is an egregious crime against humanity. Shame on BLM."

There’s so much wrong with this, such little understanding of history and humanity for a long-oppressed Cuban people, it’s no wonder there is such an ideological gap between BLM and the Cubans who were exiled and had to make a whole new life, with no history, in a new country. https://t.co/Nri6zERnN2

— Carlos Frías (@Carlos_Frias) July 15, 2021

Conservative commentator and Daily Wire co-founder Ben Shapiro shared a tweet featuring BLM's statement, saying: "Reminder: BLM is a horrible communist organization and always was."

Odette Casamayor-Cisneros is associate professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania. She expressed hurt at BLM's statement, drawing on her own experiences.

"I am Black & Cuban and deeply hurt by the #BLM statement on Cuban protests," Casamayor-Cisneros said. "They are blind and deft to the Cuban ppl, to their demands. With whom is their solidarity? Certainly not with the people in the streets. LISTEN to us."

"A similar education and awareness that #BLM rightfully demands for white people is what I ask for them. I ask BLM to put aside their preconceptions abt #Cuba and listen to the Cubans on the island, their reality not the speeches #BLM wants to believe," she added.

Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union (ACU) which organizes the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), also weighed in.

"In siding w Communist overseers in Cuba BLM Inc has laid bare to the world that it was never about race so much as destroying America and pushing Marxism," Schlapp wrote.

"Siding w Castroism over oppressed Afro Cubans is a tipping point. But maybe BLM got a beachfront house out of the deal."

Newsweek has asked Black Lives Matter for comment.

People Protest in Cuban Capital Havana
People take part in a demonstration to support the government of the Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana, on July 11, 2021. Black Lives Matter (BLM) has faced backlash for a statement about the country and the long-running U.S. trade embargo. YAMIL LAGE / AFP/Getty Images