While the Kardashians are no strangers to travel, the famous family's latest trip is stirring up some drama. Kim, Khloé, and Kourtney Kardashian visited Cuba, along with their friend Malika Haqq. Of course, they posted Instagrams of the whole experience, but one sparked more controversy than the rest. Khloé shared a photo posing under Fidel Castro's name. People are not happy about this — and rightfully so. In posing under the name of a controversial leader, it appeared that she was oblivious to the cultural significance and hardships associated with Castro's reign. Even if she didn't intend to offend people, it's a misstep worthy of an apology. Or in the very least, a few tweets acknowledging the incident.
As a Cuban dictator, Castro reigned from 1959 through 2008. When he resigned in '08, America's director at Human Rights Watch, José Miguel Vivanco, explained, "Even if Castro no longer calls the shots, the repressive machinery he constructed over almost half a century remains fully intact. Until that changes, it’s unlikely there will be any real progress on human rights in Cuba." According to Human Rights Watch's website, over the course of his nearly 50-year reign, Castro "systematically deprived of their fundamental rights to free expression, privacy, association, assembly, movement, and due process of law." Even Amnesty International acknowledges the civil rights violations in Cuba.
Considering all of this information, the backlash to Khloé's Instagram is understandable. Even if not intentional, it's a major faux pas, since it seems to express a cultural ignorance to the country's tumultuous past. I'm sure that she didn't intend to offend people, but it's worth acknowledging or apologizing anyway. Ironically enough, Khloé later posted an Instagram of the Cuban streets and wrote:
With everyday, my goal is to expand my mind. Now, it has been filled with new memories and knowledge of culture, food, traditions, daily life.... It will never go back to yesterday's dimensions! I'm so blessed to be able to appreciate another's culture God is GREAT! Thank you for my opportunities
While she talks about appreciating the culture, her other Instagram (right under the name "Fidel") seems to have the opposite effect. Comments range from "Ignorant. Get an education khloe." to "extremely disrespectful for this... my grandparents suffered HUGE hardships because of him." Another commenter wrote, "It completely blows my mind that your family is on 'vacation' in Cuba when so many people in Cuba wish to leave their homes and find freedom in new counties."
Khloé and the rest of her sisters have been vocal about the Armenian Genocide, a tragedy that occurred in their homeland from 1915-1917. Although this part of history is not talked about often, the Kardashians refuse to sweep it under the rug. The reason I mention this is because if they want others to respect and remember their country's difficult past, they should also be mindful of others' struggles. In posing under the name of someone who "systemically deprived" Cubans of their fundamental rights, it's certainly hurtful — even if she didn't mean for it to be.
Hopefully the Kardashian fam can be more mindful of their Instagram backdrops going forward. Plus, it wouldn't be a bad idea for KoKo to speak out about the incident. Chances are she didn't intend to offend anyone, so it'd be better to just acknowledge it and move on.