LATIN America and the Caribbean have suffered under the Monroe Doctrine for too long.
Whether it be elections, demonstrations or internal conflicts, sovereign nations are constantly being pressured – in all sorts of ways – by Washington.
The US ramped up their obsession with the continent during the Cold War, for fear of a Red Latin America aiding the Soviet Union.
And as Cubans protest rising food prices and a lack of medicine, it’s worth remembering that it was Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution which shook the White House in 1959.
But as war-hawks and pro-interventionists circle the revolutionary island, it’s worth emphasising that Cubans do not only not need their so-called ‘help’, but any foreign involvement would likely be disastrous.
Cubans are on the streets because of “political and social erosion”, civil engineer Abel Alba told The Independent.
“There is a lot of disgust, we must talk more, do more things and things that were done wrong should be rectified,” he added.
And that’s fair enough. Even the most ardent of anti-imperialists must admit two things.
First, Cubans have the right to protest against the state.
Second, police violence and state suppression, even when committed by leftist nations, is still wrong.
The above should be non-controversial, save a ‘bunker mentality’ from some on the left who see Cuba as doing no wrong.
At the same time, the coverage of the protests has been appalling – and almost bloodthirsty in some quarters.
When thousands – or millions, in the case of the Iraq War demonstrations – protest in Western nations, the coverage suggests a minority of the population are dissenting. But in Cuba, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the majority of the nation are on the streets calling for the downfall of communism.
In reality, it’s more nuanced than that.
The Cuban state can be blamed for imposing quantity limits on goods coming in – a measure now being adjusted.
But with the decades-long US embargo and the effect of the pandemic, it’s clearly not the whole story.
The Cuban government can certainly make some market-based changes without betraying the communist ideology they built the revolution on.
But campaigns like #SOSCuba have reached the point of ridicule, going from genuine concern to promoting regime change.
We don’t see Russia and China calling for the fall of the White House every time Americans protest police brutality. Why should Joe Biden have the right to label Cuba a ‘failed state’ while maintaining the crippling embargo – and facing mass protests at home?
Cubans should be allowed to protest. They don’t need any help from the Empire.
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