Florida Republicans call on Biden to ‘step up’ in wake of Cuba protest


A trio of Florida Republicans led by Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed the Biden administration on Wednesday, saying it was not doing enough to help the Cuban people following protests against Havana’s communist regime last week.

During an appearance on Granthshala News’ “Hannity” from Miami’s Versailles restaurant, DeSantis called on Biden to “step up and be on the side of freedom.” The governor reiterated his insistence that the White House help provide Internet access on the island after the Cuban government shut down social media sites at the peak of the protests.

“Internet access is something that we have the ability to do. We have companies in the US that want to do it, but they need the federal government’s OK,” DeSantis said. [Biden] He has the right to do so. He can do it, and if he’s willing to do it, I think it will make a positive difference.

“As it stands now, he’s basically sitting there doing nothing,” the governor said. “He’s leaving these people to dry up, and what’s going on, if they don’t get any kind of aid, will the regime continue to shut down, and they’ll eventually seal it and then they’re in power. will remain even stronger, and it will be a great blow to freedom.”

Cubans are seen outside the Capitol in Havana in a demonstration against their government on July 11, 2021.
Cubans are seen outside the Capitol in Havana in a demonstration against their government on July 11, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images

Cubans took to the streets of Havana and other cities on the island on July 11 to demand an end to 62 years of communist rule in the biggest protests in nearly three decades. Hundreds of people have been taken into custody in the subsequent action. The Cuban government has acknowledged the death of one demonstrator, but opposition sources say the number is higher.

Last week, Biden described Cuba as a “failed state” and communism as a “universally failed system” and said his administration was “considering whether we have the right to restore internet access on the island”. technical capability”.

President Joe Biden issued a statement during the protests, calling on the regime in Cuba to "listen to its people."
President Joe Biden issued a statement during the protests, calling on the regime in Cuba to “listen to its people.”
AFP via Getty Images

However, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) accused Biden of refusing to meet with him to discuss next steps.

“We ???? are very disappointed. We are very upset, because we have respectfully called and we have told the Biden administration that it has nothing to do with political parties,” said Salazar, whose district is in Miami’s Little Havana. Including, told host Sean Hannity. “He won’t be meeting us.”

Rubio agreed, saying, “We’ve asked for a meeting.” “It hasn’t happened yet.”

Salazar alleged that Biden is “not paying attention to the people who are shouting in the streets of Havana, a ???? Libertad! One ???? they??? Saying no?? Down with the embargo???? Or one???? We want more vaccines???? Or one???? We want to eat more. No, they are saying???? We want freedom???? â??¦ The Biden administration needs to focus on us.”

Rubio suggested that addressing the situation in Cuba “is not a priority” for the White House.

“You have to understand, there’s a part of their voting base that actually thinks governance is good, that actually brags about governance,” the senator said. “People who say it frankly. I mean, the Black Lives Matter Foundation said this. And I said, â???? That???? That’s great. My office is helping the Black Lives Matter Foundation move to Cuba will do.’”

Despite the ongoing crackdown, Rubio insisted that the communist government “has been mortally wounded. It has lost its legitimacy.”

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be quick and it’s going to be easy, but it’s a dying beast and we need to do everything we can to speed it up.”

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