China’s campaign to grow its presence in Latin America has brought the country’s influence dangerously close to the U.S., but experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation that America’s efforts to combat it fall short.
The communist goliath has become the number one trading partner for several countries in the region, with Cuba becoming the latest country to sign onto Xi Jinping’s Belt And Road Initiative (BRI), a massive global project launched in 2013, in October.
Cuba officially signed on to a Chinese energy pact on Monday, strengthening President Xi Jinping’s relationship with Latin America at a time when the U.S. has warned that China’s influence is increasing in the region, Havana Live reported.
Many Americans today assume that the threat of Communism subsided with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But “We continue to see Communist and socialist regimes pop up and spread not only in Latin America – for example, in Venezuela and Nicaragua – but around the world,” says Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, president and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC). “These regimes regularly kill their own citizens and have a devastating effect on human rights and their national economies.” In fact, over 1.5 billion people – including those living in Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, and, of course, China – currently live under oppressive Communist and socialist governments.
Founded in 1993 by a bipartisan, unanimous Act of Congress, VOC is “devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.”
Before coming to VOC, Bremberg served as the Trump administration’s Representative of the United States to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. During his time there, which he describes as a “profound and life changing experience,” he “became aware of the challenge of China,” which was “far worse” than he had realized. He notes that the U.N. International Human Rights Council made investigating the United States’ record on racism during the summer of 2020 its highest priority – putting it above China’s appalling human rights violations against Uyghurs, among other ethnic groups within its borders.
In a resurfaced 2019 podcast hosted by Ezra Klein of Vox and the New York Post, Howard University professor and 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones praised Cuba’s socialist economy, deeming it one of the “most equal” countries in the west.
“If you want to see the most equal, multiracial democ … it’s not a democracy – the most equal, multiracial country in our hemisphere it would be Cuba,” Hannah-Jones said, the NY Post reported.
She then praised Cuba’s socialist economy, claiming it has led to “the least inequality”.
Citizens charged their government with repression. The rebuttal came via a truncheon. Some people miss their own irony.
The Cuban government killed one protester, roughed up cameramen for the Associated Press, abducted citizens from their homes, and shut down the internet in response to demonstrations that erupted last weekend. “The order to fight has been given,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel announced. “Into the street, revolutionaries!”
The official Black Lives Matter organization is facing widespread criticism after releasing a statement in support of the Communist dictatorship in Cuba, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation issued its statement earlier this week, amidst the sudden grassroots protests that broke out in Cuba against the incumbent regime. In it, the organization claims, with no evidence, that “the U.S. government has only instigated suffering for the country’s 11 million, of which 4 million are black or brown.”
BLM further claims that the ongoing American embargo on Cuba, which has been in effect since the Cold War, is “at the heart of the crisis,” and went on to praise Cuba’s “strong medical care.” The far-left group’s rhetoric closely matches that of Cuba’s current dictator, Miguel Diaz-Canel, who explicitly blamed the United States for the protests.
Thousands of demonstrators in more than 40 cities and towns throughout Cuba have taken to the streets to protest 62 years of oppression. In a communist country that suppresses dissent, the recent wave of protests is the most significant grassroots stand against the dictatorship in more than three decades.
Since the end of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the Cuban people have lived under the oppressive rule of the Castro dictatorship. Upon Raúl Castro’s recent retirement, his handpicked successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel seized control of the Communist Party, Cuba’s only legal political party, and the presidency, in an election that was neither competitive, free, nor fair.
As the communist regime attempts to deflect blame for the state of unrest, basic goods and services are in short supply. The fact is Cuba is suffering from a severe economic crisis. Food is scarce, the health care system is overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and electricity outages are a regular occurrence.
Massive protests broke out in Cuba on Sunday, with citizens shouting “freedom!” as they demonstrated against the corrupt and incompetent Communist regime. Cubans trapped in dire economic conditions took to the streets in over 32 Cuban cities, according to the Washington Times.
“Down with the dictatorship,” “We want liberty!” protesters reportedly chanted.