Sanders Appears To Blame US Embargo For Cuban Protests

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared to blame U.S. embargos on Cuba for the violent protests against communist oppression in a Monday tweet.

“All people have the right to protest and to live in a democratic society,” Sanders tweeted later Monday night. “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.”

Ben Rhodes, former senior adviser to former President Barack Obama and MSNBC contributor also blamed the “cruel US embargo” for the strife.

Shahid Buttar, a Democrat running for Congress, said the “illegal U.S. embargo” is “responsible for shortages in Cuba, but Cubans enjoy substantial rights (eg to healthcare, housing) that we Americans are denied.”

While Sanders and others claim the embargo on Cuba is part of the issue, the embargo does not affect humanitarian aid donations from the United States.

Acting Assistant Sec. for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Julie Chung tweeted in 2020 the U.S. “routinely authorizes the export of humanitarian goods, agricultural products, medicine, and medical equipment to support the Cuban people.”

Protests erupted in Cuba over the weekend, with thousands of people taking to the street demanding “freedom.” Protesters voiced their frustrations against the communist regime and their lack of access to basic goods. (RELATED: Rubio Tears Into Biden Administration Over Initial Response To Cuba Protests)

Chung tried to claim that “peaceful protests” were due to concerns “about rising COVID cases/deaths & medicine shortages.”

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz wrote in a statement Monday that the Cuban people are finally taking to the streets to demand freedom from the grip of tyranny.

“This regime has brutalized and denied freedom to generations of Cubans, forcing many including my family to flee or be murdered, and over the coming days will widen its violence to try to suppress the brave protesters in the street.”