"Protests in Cuba aren't simply about shortages"

Episode 30 Sneak Peek

That’s the first time we’ve ever quoted Marco Rubio for a header, by the way.

Much of this week’s news coverage among mainstream outlets has zeroed in on protests in Cuba. Here’s the New York Times on this week’s events:

The protests that erupted on Sunday were spurred by the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, shortages in basic goods and clampdowns on civil liberties. Protesters have called for President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who took the reins of Cuba in 2018, to step down.

Interestingly enough, liberal and conservative coverage of the protests connects these catalyzing events — crisis, scarcity — to a broader anti-communist cause. Biden’s statement refers to an “authoritarian regime” as the party at fault. And, in a series of tweets and videos, Marco Rubio is weighing in:

What’s missing from this picture? As leftist outlets have pointed out, perhaps a lack of basic resources and supplies in Cuba has something to do with the decades-old blockade imposed by none other than the United States. The embargo has cost Cuba hundreds of billions of dollars to date — so that the United States continues to profit from its economic devastation of a foreign country, at the same time that U.S. politicos misrepresent this economic devastation to feed the flames of anticommunism.

It’s maddening. And, as the youth wing of Ireland’s leftist Sinn Féin party observed in a recent tweet, Cuba has offered incredible contributions to global health and well-being in spite of the United States’ disastrous embargo.

While the United States interpreted the pandemic as another opportunity for resource grabs, Cuban doctors actively worked to slow the spread of the pandemic elsewhere, devoting their resources and time to the cause of global solidarity. That solidarity runs against the self-serving, domineering political goals of the United States. In his own way (and you never have to hand it to him), Marco Rubio got one thing right. The Cuban protests aren’t simply about shortages. For instance, here’s the mayor of Miami talking about the U.S.’s right to undertake regime change in Cuba — and for its own imperialistic interests, not for Cuba’s. The way forward for leftists across the world is clear: return Cuba’s solidarity, demand an end to the embargo, and openly criticize any call for US regime change. Those calls are already coming through clearly, from both sides of the aisle.

We’ll be talking about the Cuba protests with Briahna Joy Gray, along with much more. If you haven’t already, subscribe now, so you can see the video when it drops on Friday.

Then, join us on Saturday to hear the podcast audio, which can be found on Stitcher, Substack, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, and much more.