A number of fringe right-wing figures are now comparing the protests that have broken out in Cuba — where citizens are now marching against the island nation’s one-party communist dictatorship — to the Trump supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
It should be obvious that there is a major difference, of course, between a people who are struggling against an undemocratic government they have never been able to elect and a violent mob that attempted to overthrow the results of a national election, and that believed it was doing so on behalf of the incumbent president.
Indeed, Trump and his supporters had demanded in violent terms that then-Vice President Mike Pence assert a constitutionally baseless, unilateral authority to refuse to recognize the election results, an avenue by which an incumbent administration could have installed itself in office indefinitely. But by the logic emerging on the far right, the ongoing prosecution of those Trump supporters is the moral equivalent of the Cuban regime’s attempts to repress its citizens.
Shortly after midnight, right-wing figure Candace Owens retweeted and commented on a post from far-right social media personality and conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich:
Later in the morning, right-wing provocateur Dinesh D’Souza — who has previously claimed during an appearance on Fox News, “There was no insurrection, there was no coup” — called for Republicans to show “similar outrage” for the “political prisoners” from January 6 as they are for people in Cuba.
Right-wing media figures initially praised and defended the mob while the January 6 attack was occurring. Since then, they have sought to rewrite history and create an alternate reality in which they insist there was no insurrection and that the event was a “peaceful protest” — while simultaneously engaging in a political campaign against any investigation into it.
Moreover, one shared attribute to look for between authoritarian regimes and their followers could be to observe which side is physically attacking journalists. Unsurprisingly, both the Capitol insurrectionists in January and the Cuban regime right now have that attribute in common.
The Associated Press reported on Sunday’s events in Cuba:
Later, about 300 pro-government protesters arrived with a large Cuban flag, shouting slogans in favor of the late President Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolution. Some assaulted an AP videojournalist, smashing his camera. AP photojournalist Ramón Espinosa was then beaten by a group of police officers in uniforms and civilian clothes; he suffered a broken nose and an eye injury.
Body camera footage captured Byerly assaulting three Metropolitan Police Department officers, according to the affidavit.
Byerly also is accused of attacking an AP photographer who was wearing a helmet-style gas mask and a lanyard with Associated Press lettering.
A photo shows Byerly standing behind a group of people who pulled the photographer backward down a set of stairs leading up to the western front of the Capitol building, the affidavit says. At the bottom of the stairs, Byerly and three other people grabbed the photographer and pushed, shoved and dragged him toward the site of the original altercation, the agent wrote.