A social media post made by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Global Network Foundation spread misinformation on the Cuban crisis and the U.S. embargo.
What We Know:
- On Thursday, BLM released a statement on Instagram in which they condemned the American federal government’s “inhumane” treatment of Cubans; the organization was referring to the long-instated Cuban embargo. Black Lives Matter urged the United States to remove the blockade and praised the country. They also stated that the United States was punishing Cubans because of its “commitment to sovereignty and self-determination”.
View this post on Instagram
- Black Lives Matter continued their post by emphasizing Cuba’s “historically demonstrated” solidarity with oppressed people of African descent. They stated Cuba granted Assata Shakur asylum and supported the liberation of countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, and South Africa.
- This narrative provides misinformation to BLM followers because it supports statements made by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel. When protests erupted last week on the island, Díaz-Canel claimed the United States provoked the unrest. Additionally, he vehemently blamed the embargo for the economic crisis. However, Cubans are protesting the 62-year communist regime started by Fidel Castro; the citizens want governmental change and freedom.
- After reading the post, many called out BLM. Miami Herald Food editor Carlos Frías tweeted that there was “so much wrong” in their statement. He also explained that the organization’s “little understanding” of history causes an ideological gap between BLM and exiled Cubans.
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
- Columnist Emily Schrader criticized BLM’s somewhat hypocritical statement on Twitter. In her post, she wrote that “Black Lives Matter” until it’s black people trying to escape communism. In addition, Senator Marco Rubio and Daily Wire co-founder Ben Shapiro implied that BLM holds Marxist roots; several people supported these remarks and resurfaced tweets and articles from 2016 in which the organization glorified communist leader Fidel Castro after his death.
Rest in Power #FidelCastro
— Black Lives Matter (@Blklivesmatter) November 26, 2016
- Meanwhile, several Instagram users expressed their disappointment on BLM’s stance in the comments section. Some asked for the post to be taken down, and others begged the organization to better educate themselves. Many also mentioned how Cuba holds many anti-Black beliefs, and that the statement should have been written by someone with an Afro-Cuban background.
Despite the overflowing criticism, BLM has neither taken down any of their Cuban posts nor apologized for misleading the public.