Rubio contests claim that US embargo is destabilizing Cuba, says only ‘blockade’ is its government

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, turned back claims by Democrats who followed Black Lives Matter and blamed the decades-long U.S. embargo on Cuba for sparking the recent historic protests.

Rubio spoke from the Senate floor Tuesday, where he contended that people who called the embargo cruel either “don’t know what they’re talking about,” or are “liars.”

“There is only one blockage in Cuba and it is the blockage that the regime has imposed on its people,” Rubio said.

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Earlier this month, pro-democracy protesters took to the streets across the island nation to call for human rights and basic necessities.

Black Lives Matter posted a statement last week that blamed the U.S. embargo for the country’s instability and credited the Cuban government for historically granting “Black revolutionaries” asylum.

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UNITED STATES - MAY 26: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., walks to the Senate subway after a vote in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – MAY 26: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., walks to the Senate subway after a vote in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
( (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images))

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was silent on the issue until Thursday when she issued a statement expressing “solidarity” with the Cuban people. She also called for the end of the 60-year-old embargo which she claimed, in part, “profoundly” contributed to the suffering of Cubans.

On Tuesday, Rubio also criticized the decision by the Biden administration to review remittances to Cuba to ensure that money that Cuban Americans send home makes it directly into the hands of their families without the regime taking a cut. He also called on President Biden to listen to the people in Cuba and not the “pro-regime people in your administration.”

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“The Cubans who were marching in the streets were not asking for remittances, they were asking for freedom,” he wrote on Twitter. 

Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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