Black Lives Matter received swift backlash Wednesday evening after posting a statement to the organization’s social media feeds that harshly criticized the United States government, while praising Cuba’s Communist regime.

The tweet accused the United States of causing instability in the island nation due to the longtime embargo and credited the Cuban government with granting “Black revolutionaries” asylum. 

The group released the statement amid street protests this week in Cuba over the dire economic conditions, for which it blames the country’s communist-run government.

The statement also called on the U.S. to lift sanctions on Cuba that are “cruel and inhumane policy, instituted with the explicit intention of destabilizing the country and undermining Cubans’ right to choose their own government.”

The organization wrote that Cuba is being “punished by the U.S. government because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty and self-determination.”

The statement indicated that without the sanctions, Cuba’s medical system and food supply issues would function well for the people of the country. 

Though he previously blamed the “American-Cuban mafia” as well as Youtubers and influencers for the unrest in his country, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel admitted Wednesday during a televised address that his government’s failures are playing a role in the protests over food shortages, lack of medical care, and other issues.  

Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, a staunch advocate for freedom efforts in Cuba, responded to BLM’s statement, writing “The extortionist ring known as the Black Lives Matter organization took a break today from shaking down corporations for millions & buying themselves mansion to share their support for the Communist regime in #Cuba.” 

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