As President Joe Biden announces new sanctions against Cuba for its crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, at least one MSNBC host seemingly changed her longstanding position to align with the administration.
While interviewing a Cuban human rights advocate, MSNBC host Joy Reid apparently reversed her long-held support for lifting U.S. sanctions against the Communist dictatorship. Reid once mocked the Clinton administration for hesitating to seize and deport six-year-old Elián González back to Cuba. But Reid now appears to support a boycott of the regime similar to the one the U.S. enacted against South Africa in the 1980s to oppose apartheid.
“The Treasury Department is looking at Cuban officials responsible for violence against the protesters, which could mean increased sanctions,” Reid noted on the one-year anniversary of the debut of her low-rated show “The ReidOut.”
She then interviewed Rosa María Payá Acevedo, the founder of Cuba Decide, which is calling for a binding national referendum to transition the island nation from a socialist dictatorship to a democracy.
Few MSNBC guests can say, as Payá can, that they came to MSNBC shortly after sitting with Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro for an episode of his podcast and holding a pro-freedom rally alongside Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R).
“There are many companies, many enterprises still doing business with that criminal regime,” Acevedo said. “The Biden administration should take a similar approach to the approach taken towards South Africa, to end apartheid and put consequences on [those] companies.”
Reid replied, “I’m glad that you mentioned South Africa. Joe Biden was one of the most vocal, you know, senators at that time against the South African apartheid regime and also has been pushing on this for freedom in Russia as well. Very good point.”
— Rosa María Payá A. (@RosaMariaPaya) July 21, 2021
That’s a radically different position than Reid’s hardline opposition to U.S. sanctions and soft-peddling of Havana’s Marxist regime.
Reid once criticized President Bill Clinton for not immediately capturing six-year-old Elián González and returning him to Cuba. González’s mother drowned in the Atlantic Ocean as she and her son embarked on a journey from Cuba to the United States on an inner tube in late 1999. Ultimately, Clinton dispatched elite, paramilitary Border Patrol agents brandishing assault rifles to deport the child.
I am Jan,
Jan I am.
I will not pick up Elian. …
I will not pick him up, you see,
The exiles would be mad at me.
I will not take him to his dad,
Would you make Gloria Estefan mad?
I will not send him to Fidel,
Cause [Elian’s cousin] Marisleysis [Gonzalez] says it’s hell.
I will not go and do my job,
I’m too scared of that angry mob.
Reid has long clamored to lift U.S. sanctions against Cuba.
Reid used the death of Fidel Castro in 2016 to promote the end of America’s “embargo of one.” She tweeted enthusiastically: “Cuban expatriate Pat tells #AMJoy U.S. should lift #Cuba embargo in wake of Fidel Castro’s death. RETWEET 2 AGREE.”
— Formerly ‘AM JOY’ on @MSNBC (@amjoyshow) November 26, 2016
To our knowledge, Reid has not said this tweet is the work of hackers bent on discrediting her.
In late 2016, Reid’s guest Mark Thompson bizarrely linked protests against an oil pipeline in South Dakota to Fidel Castro, saying the demonstrations “go in the pro column” of the dictator’s legacy.
— ☥ † The Rev. Mark Thompson, Host @MakeItPlain (@ministter) December 4, 2016
The same day, Reid asked staunch anti-Communist Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), “Do you think now that you have that Fidel Castro” is dead and “that psychological weight lifted … that there might be a chance that Congress would be willing to rethink” Cuban sanctions and allow “more social interaction, more cultural interaction, and sort of go with the argument that many make that isolating Cuba hasn’t worked, that engagement — including economic engagement — might work better?”
Rep. Curbelo replied that he opposed “unilateral concessions” such as those made by then-President Barack Obama, because they “reward the conduct of a brutal regime” and put “stability in Cuba over the goal of democracy, of human dignity, of respect for human rights.”
But Reid noted her opposition to U.S. sanctions even while Fidel Castro was still alive. In 2014, on her MSNBC show “The Reid Report,” Reid interviewed Ric Herrero, executive director of #CubaNow, to discuss the normalization of U.S./Cuba relations.”
“Do you see this as an opening the fact that we could see the restoring of normal diplomatic relations between the two countries, as an opening that could actually change Cuba?” Reid asked.
Herrero said ending sanctions would be “a lot more efficient than just screaming from Miami, hoping they’ll eventually do what we think is right.” Economic engagement could “empower the Cuban people in ways that 50 years of blanket sanctions, frankly, weren’t able to achieve,” Herrero claimed.
“The polls show that the American people do seem to, by and large, agree with you,” Reid agreed.
Whatever may lay behind Reid’s opposition to the Cuban exile community, it’s not lack of familiarity. Reid spent years in southern Florida as a Miami Herald columnist and writer at WSVN-TV. “South Florida influenced my career in every way,” she told the Miami Herald last year.
Apparently being a host on the Democratic Party’s favorite cable news network influenced her views even more.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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