By C. Mitchell Shaw
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki finally found it in herself to condemn communism as “a failed ideology.” And it only took her the better part of a week, after she spent Monday’s press briefing dodging the point and blaming Cuba’s protests — which broke out on Sunday — on COVID.
As this writer reported in an article published Wednesday:
In a press conference Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked, “Why is it that yesterday the State Department was saying that this was all happening out of concern about rising COVID cases?” Psaki spent the next minute stumbling her way through an answer that sounds like what we have come to expect from her boss (without the creepy whispering he has introduced of late). Her answer conflates everything, but “circles back” to COVID by the end. The one thing she never mentions is that Cubans have taken to the streets because they are tired of living under communist rule.
Though to be fair to Psaki, her job is to lie to the American people by lying to the press. Her words may be her own, but the ideas are the administration’s. Keeping that point in mind, the signature of the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue appeared at the bottom of a statement released the same day Psaki blamed COVID to avoid mentioning communism. That statement read:
We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime. The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights. Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected. The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves.
That article also mentioned members of Congress who are aligned with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Those members of Congress — known as the “Squad” — chose to ignore the protests entirely, a clear indication of their true loyalty to Marxism. It would be awkward for them to address the issue; they would either have to condemn communism (which would ring more than a little hollow) or side with the communist regime in Cuba by condemning the protesters.
On Thursday, Psaki — appearing to have a newly revised script approved by the Ministry of Truth — was asked by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy, “Now that you’ve had a few days to think about it, does this White House still think the protests in Cuba are happening because people are upset about a rise in COVID cases there, or is there some thought given to the possibility that they are protesting because they are sick of communism?” The question is important by itself, but it is worth noting that it was Doocy who asked the question on Monday, as well.
Psaki answers, “First I would say that communism is a failed ideology — and we certainly believe that. It has failed the people of Cuba — they deserve freedom — they deserve a government that supports them.” So far, so good. But give Psaki time and a microphone and she is sure to jump the tracks in pursuit of an agenda. She continued, “Whether that is making sure they have health and medical supplies, access to vaccines, or whether they have economic opportunity and prosperity.” Since one of the main tools in this administration’s toolbox seems to be COVID, they tend to pull it out, even at odd times.
Setting that aside, Psaki went on to describe the regime in Cuba as “an authoritarian communist regime that has repressed its people.” She added that the communist government of Cuba “has failed the people of Cuba — hence, we’re seeing them in the streets.” But, ever the “circle back” girl, Psaki ended by trotting out COVID one more time, saying, “But I would note that the ideology of the government — which has failed — has led to a lack of access to economic opportunities, to medical supplies, to COVID vaccines, so all of those pieces are true.”
The implication is that there is no change of message here — as if the original statement about the protests being about COVID is perfectly consistent with the statement about the protests being about the evils of communism. After all, all of those pieces — even the one she stubbornly avoided addressing Monday — are true.
This is a great example of the typical liberal spin and double-speak this administration is known for.
It appears that the impetus for the shift from blaming COVID to calling communism “a failed ideology” (even while trying to keep COVID in the spotlight) was that even some Democrats were concerned that statements by the Biden administration were too soft. As Daily Mail reported:
Florida Democrats want Biden to come to Miami to give a pro-democracy and human rights speech that would address the situation in Cuba but could also tie in Haiti.
A part of the Florida Democrats’ concerns is that Biden is missing an opportunity to court the crucial Hispanic vote, which Biden dramatically under performed with in Florida during the 2020 election.
The Cuban vote is particularly powerful in that swing state. Donald Trump won Florida’s Cuban vote 56% to Biden’s 41% in last year’s election, which helped the former president carry the state.
Biden issued a statement after the protests, supporting people’s right to demonstrate and acknowledging their desire to be free from the “authoritarian regime.”
But Florida Democrats wanted more.
And so, the Biden administration is doing more (or at least saying more) while pretending that it was doing (or at least saying) more all along. Of course, this will likely upset the hard-core leftists in Biden’s party, since their allegiance is to communism.
At any rate, the brave Cuban people who have begun to rise up and denounce communism deserve the thanks of every American who recognize the dangerous evil that communism is. Because who would have thought that the Biden administration would plainly call communism a failed ideology? Not that this writer believes for a moment that the administration believes it, but it is still nice to see them forced to say it.