Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former Democrat state senator, had the Cuban flag hoisted above the New York state flag above Brooklyn Borough Hall, and equated suppression in the island nation to that in the United States.
The symbolic gesture was a way for Adams to celebrate diplomatic relations with the communist nation being re-opened under President Obama.
Via the Observer:
“Today, as we gather together at the steps of Brooklyn Hall, and watch the raising of the Cuban flag, not only do we celebrate the restored diplomatic ties between the U.S. and Cuba, but we also celebrate the changes that brings to the Cuban people, and how we hope to assist them as they move forward as a country,” he continued.
The borough president said he had no issue flying the colors of a nation where freedom of press and assembly are curtailed, political dissidents are arbitrarily arrested and do not enjoy due process rights, rival political parties are forbidden from campaigning, gay marriage is illegal and where LGBT persons were until relatively recently deported or placed in labor camps. Mr. Adams instead highlighted the indignities and abuses many Americans suffer, seeming to suggest an equivalency.
Adams sentiments echo that of Governor Cuomo, who upon visiting the nation to open trade negotiations, said he admires how the Cuban government handles the media.
During that same visit where Cuomo was taking photo-ops in the island nation, 60 dissidents were arrested in the capital of Havana for holding up images of others arrested before them.
Adams is best known to MenRec readers as the state senator who pushed for the hiring of a convicted sex offender, and another aide who was arrested on domestic violence charges in 2009.
It should be noted that independent media watchdog Freedom House describes Cuba’s relationship with the press thusly:
Cuba has the most restrictive laws on free speech and press freedom in the Americas. The constitution prohibits private ownership of media outlets and allows free speech and journalism only if they “conform to the aims of a socialist society.” Article 91 of the penal code imposes lengthy prison sentences or death for those who act against “the independence or the territorial integrity of the state,” and Law 88 for the Protection of Cuba’s National Independence and Economy imposes up to 20 years in prison for committing acts “aimed at subverting the internal order of the nation and destroying its political, economic, and social system.”
Additionally, in regards to same-sex marriage, something Democrats like Cuomo and Adams are advocates for, Cuba has no anti-discrimination laws currently regarding the provisions of goods and services. None. They have no anti-discrimination laws regarding hate speech against particular groups. But they do have a constitutional ban against same-sex marriage.
Yet Democrats and Cuomo are perfectly fine with how Cuba handles the press and gays.
Now their flag flies high to prove their support.