Conditions in Cuba have deteriorated precipitously over the past two years. Economic hardships, complicated by the pandemic and the inability of Cuba to produce its own vaccine have led to people taking to the streets in protest. But as Allahpundit pointed out yesterday, if any of them are thinking of fleeing their dictatorship, they shouldn’t attempt to make the ocean crossing to Florida. The Biden administration has declared that any refugees seeking to enter the United States without proper authorization will be turned away and sent to wait in another country. That policy sounds rather familiar, doesn’t it? In fact, it’s almost identical to the rules put in place by the Bad Orange Man with his Remain in Mexico policy as it was applied to illegal migrants from Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries. But as David Harsanyi points out at National Review, there’s something missing from this formula. Where is the outrage from Democrats and the majority of the mainstream media? Why are these “cruel” policies toward potential migrants fleeing economic hardship and brutal oppression at the hands of an authoritarian government not being denounced as racism? The silence is almost deafening.
As far as I can tell, there was no performative outrage from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or any of her progressive cohorts over the United States shutting its doors to the downtrodden. There are no overwrought analogies made between U.S. immigration policy and the MS St. Louis by Democrats. There is no grandstanding reading of “The New Colossus” from CNN hosts.
Even as Biden gave his perfunctory statement about the United States standing with the “Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom,” a senior State Department official was framing protests — in which some unfurled American flags and many chanted “We want liberty” — as unhappiness over “rising COVID cases/deaths,” using puerile activist rhetoric about “mobilizing donations to help neighbors in need.” Collectivist-induced shortages are not an outlier. Every neighborhood is in need.
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that Cubans are often treated differently. Perhaps it’s because a sizeable number of them — having first- or secondhand experience with socialism — vote Republican, and progressives are interested only in future Democrat voters.
Harsanyi makes a point that’s tough to argue with. Compared to other Hispanic minority groups, Cubans tend to be more conservative in their politics and are more likely to register as Republicans. Trump overperformed with Cuban-Americans in 2020, a fact that very likely put him over the top in carrying Florida. So with the Democrats in charge, it seems that the huddled masses yearning to breathe free and the wretched refuse of your teeming shore doesn’t include the Cubans. Ben Shapiro quickly noticed the same thing.
The new rule is that only refugees the Democrats presume will vote Republican will be turned away https://t.co/XzTA7L6QSm
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 14, 2021
I’m positive that someone previously assured us that policies such as this are racist in nature. But the lack of outrage in the media and among prominent Democrats is telling. The other factor involved here is that far too many Democrats have long been soft on Cuba because they don’t want to criticize a socialist paradise. (The same goes for Venezuela, by the way.) You’ll recall how Barack Obama was the president who eased restrictions on Cuba and even went there to take in a baseball game with Raul Castro and posed under a huge banner depicting Chez Guevara. Bernie Sanders has regularly spoken admiringly of the Cuban government and its many “accomplishments.”
There was one other related development that is also going almost completely unmentioned in the media. Black Lives Matter put out a statement in support of the Cuban regime while simultaneously praising an American domestic terrorist and convicted cop-killer who Cuba has been sheltering for decades.
Black Lives Matter has released a statement on Cuba: pic.twitter.com/NgnT1o1oZE
— Sabrina Rodríguez (@sabrod123) July 15, 2021
BLM is parroting the words of the current Cuban dictator line for line. They accuse the United States of trying to destabilize Cuba’s government, insinuating that it’s our fault that the people of Cuba are suffering. And they continue to lionize JoAnne Chesimard (who now goes by the name Assata Shakur), the murderer of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster. And most of the media continues to lionize BLM in return. You should be paying attention to these trends because they are both informative and frightening.