AOC Just Slammed Biden for ‘Absurdly Cruel’ Cuba Policy

“It is never acceptable for us to use cruelty as a point of leverage against everyday people.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., talks with reporters before a House vote on creating a select committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed the Biden administration for perpetuating a “insanely cruel” Trump-era embargo on Cuba that is starving the island nation of food, medicine, and other basic necessities.

Massive protests erupted over the weekend as civilians took to the streets to express their rage at the regime—particularly the Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel. The country’s people have faced widespread food and medicine shortages, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which overwhelmed its once-vaunted medical system.

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President Joe Biden called Cuba a “failed state” on Thursday, and said his administration would consider providing aid to the country if he could be sure it would not fall into the hands of the communist regime. But he did not say he would lift the crippling embargo on the country.  

“The embargo is insanely cruel and, like too many other U.S. policies targeting Latin Americans, the cruelty is the point,” Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat from New York, said in a statement Thursday. “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 everyday people.

The statement comes after Cuba’s government shutdown and restricted access to the internet in the country, as protests grew to crowds of at least 10,000 people—many of which were rallied on the internet. Blackouts have also overtaken the country throughout the pandemic.

“We stand in solidarity with the Cuban people and condemn the suppression of the media, speech and protest,” AOC tweeted Thursday

As protests continued throughout the week, arrests got violent, as VICE News previously reported. Videos show police yanking protesters by their hair and beating others unconscious with police batons.

Correction: The original version of this story and headline misquoted Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. She described the U.S. embargo of Cuba as "absurdly cruel." VICE News regrets the error.