Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Tuesday resorted to police violence against blacks in the United States to defend the legitimacy of the Cuban government, the target of protests since Sunday (11).
“You haven’t seen any soldier in Cuba with his knee on the neck of a black man, kill him,” the former president wrote on social media, referring to the murder of George Floyd, a black man killed by the US police in 2020, which generated global unrest.
Protests against the Cuban government began on Sunday and met with repression, with at least 100 protesters, activists and journalists arrested, according to Reuters, including a Spanish journalist, who wrote about the acts for Spanish newspaper ABC.
On Tuesday, Lula condemned the United States’ economic blockade on the island and played down the actions.
“What is going on in Cuba that is so special that they talk so much ?! There was a march. I even saw the President of Cuba in the march, talking to people. Cuba has already suffered 60 years of US economic blockade, even more so with the pandemic, it’s inhuman. I’m sick of seeing a banner against Lula, against Dilma, against Trump … People are protesting. “
Cuba has suffered economic sanctions from the United States since the 1960s, after the Cuban Revolution expelled Americans from the island, and was detained during the Cold War in an attempt to quell the Communist, supported government by the Soviet Union.
The embargo has no international support. In June of this year, the UN condemned the embargo for the 29th time, with 184 countries against the blockade, and only the United States and Israel in favor – Brazil abstained.
“O [presidente Joe] Biden is expected to take this moment to get on TV and announce that he will adopt the countries’ recommendation to the UN to end this blockade, “wrote Lula, who said the island would be a more economically developed country. if the sanctions were lifted.
“If Cuba didn’t have a blockade it could be the Netherlands. It has an intellectually prepared and highly educated people. But Cuba couldn’t even buy respirators because of an inhumane American blockade,” he said. he declared.
“Americans must stop this grudge. The blockade is a way to kill human beings who are not at war. What is the United States afraid of? I know what it is to try to interfere with another, ”he continued.
In the United States, the protests have been welcomed by the American president. “The Cuban people courageously protest for fundamental and universal rights. These rights, including the right to demonstrate peacefully and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected,” Joe Biden said in a statement Monday (12). “The United States asks the Cuban regime, instead of enriching itself, to listen to the people and meet their needs,” the statement said.
The Lula (2003-2010) and, later, Dilma (2011-2016) governments were important pillars of international support for the Cuban regime, which had been severely affected by the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, when the island began to suffer from shortages.
Brazil has made investments in the island, such as financing the construction of the port of Mariel, one of the symbols of this relationship, and hired Cuban doctors to work under the Mais Médicos program, a partnership that ended as soon as President Jair Bolsonaro won the elections in 2018.
Besides Brazil, Hugo Chávez’s rise to power in Venezuela in 1999 was also economically important for the island, especially in times of economic prosperity in the South American country.
The Brazilian right, for its part, condemns the Cuban regime and has used this week’s protests to call for the impeachment of President Miguel Díaz Canel.
President Bolsonaro, for example, questioned the crackdown. “They asked, in addition to food, for electricity. They asked … They asked for one more thing. Finally, in fourth place, they asked for freedom. Do you know what they had yesterday? Rubber, beatings and imprisonment, “he told supporters on Monday.