Actor Laz Alonso took to his Instagram account recently to condemn the official Black Lives Matter organization for its “unethical,” “tone deaf,” and “willfully ignorant” statement on the unrest in Cuba.
Late last week, Black Lives Matter posted a statement on social media, calling for the U.S. government to end its embargo on Cuba, claiming the “cruel and inhumane” American policy — rather than the country’s corrupt communist regime — “is at the heart of Cuba’s current crisis.”
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Alonso, known for his role in the Amazon Prime series “The Boys,” explained in a lengthy video posted to Instagram that the freedom protests taking place in Havana and other cities across Cuba have nothing to do with the decades-old embargo.
“Don’t tell me that Cuba is only messed up because of the embargo,” he said. “Don’t tell me that this right now is happening because of an embargo, because the embargo started in 1962. And now people have had enough? This ain’t about an embargo. This is about systemic oppression. This is about what the people of Cuba are yelling when they’re in the streets, fighting for freedom. ‘Liberté,’ is what they’re yelling, not, ‘End the embargo.’”
“They want to be able to study what they want to study,” Alonso explained. “They want to be able to start their own businesses if they want to. They want to be able to earn money the same way we do. They want to be able to elect their leaders the same way we do.”
“That’s what Cubans are fighting for right now,” he continued. “They’re fighting for freedom. To reduce it to an embargo is unethical, it’s insensitive, it’s tone deaf, and it is willfully ignorant. If you want to know what’s wrong with people, listen to them. Cubans are crying and dying for freedom.”
Other Cuban-American celebrities have voiced their support for the people of Cuba, too.
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Pop star Gloria Estefan, who shared Alonso’s video to her Instagram account, wrote last week that the Cuban people “need our support [and] that of the democratic [and] free countries of the world.”
“The United Nations [and], very especially, the United States, must strongly condemn the repressive [and] violent measures being taken by the Cuban government against their own people,” she wrote. “Spread the images, spread the word.”
Rapper Pitbull shared a similar message, telling his social media followers, “We need to stand up, step up, and if you don’t understand what’s going on, then you need to wake the [expletive] up. Not only is this a Cuban event, Cuban thing — this is a world event. This isn’t about politics, this is about saving lives. This is about unity, not division, and the bottom line this is about taking action.”
UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal condemned the Cuban government as a “killing machine” and vowed to use his platform “to do what I feel is correct — what I feel like everybody should be doing — [which] is fighting against oppression, dictatorships, communism, and anything of that nature.”
“I want to shed some light on Cuba,” Masvidal said in the minute-long video, peppering his comments with explicit language. “[T]his oppression has been going on for 61 years. It’s not just because of the pandemic or it’s not just because they just ran out of medicine, because 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.”
As for Alonso, he also shared a video of a Cuban woman saying that the communist regime is doing all it can to restrict citizens’ ability to expose the government by throttling the internet and restricting people’s access to social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter, and Facebook.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is urging President Joe Biden to step in by “providing internet access to the people of Cuba standing up against communist oppression and demanding a voice after decades of suffering under a cruel dictatorship.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is likewise calling on the president “to facilitate open and free internet for the people of Cuba” because, without it, the Cuban people “can more easily be monitoried, suppressed, detained, and brutalized by the regime without accountability.”
This week, the head of the Federal Communications Commission, Brendan Carr, said it’s possible for the U.S. to provide basic internet services to Cubans despite draconian restrictions by the government.
He went on to explain there is “an urgent need right now” for Cubans to have internet access as they continue to fight for freedom amid violent — and deadly — pushback from the island country’s communist regime.