Cuba is experiencing its sixth day of anti-government protests, and American lawmakers still are at odds on how to respond to the plight of Cuban demonstrators.
Editors at The Dispatch review the political discourse:
Disagreement over the unrest’s root causes is driving these debates, which up until yesterday the Biden administration had been reluctant to identify as Cuba’s communist leadership, opting to use the word “authoritarian” instead. The White House noticeably changed course yesterday.
Joe Biden Responds to Reporters on Thursday:
Communism is a failed system. A universally failed system. And I don’t see socialism as a very useful substitute, but that’s another story.
(Biden’s) comments echoed those of his press secretary, Jen Psaki, earlier that day. “Communism is a failed ideology, and we certainly believe that it has failed the people of Cuba,” she told reporters in the daily press briefing. “They deserve freedom.”
The administration’s explicit condemnation followed backlash from the Cuban-American community, Democrats and Republicans alike, who called for Biden to take tangible steps on top of his Monday statement in support of protesters.
From Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (Cuban born) issued a warning to would-be Cuban and Haitian refugees, telling them not to come to the United States.
The time is never right to attempt migration by sea,” he said. “Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States.
Writes Cuban-American Columnist Fabiola Santiago in the Miami Herald:
A stirring, two-paragraph statement on the second day of protests isn’t nearly enough from the leader of the free world when the suffering is 90 miles from U.S. shores.
Cuban-American demonstrators showed their support for the #SOSCuba movement Tuesday in Tampa, FL, shouting:
Where is Biden? Where is Biden?”
Meanwhile from Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote a letter to President Biden in which he asked the administration to work toward restoring internet access for the Cuban people.
Similar to the American efforts to broadcast radio into the Soviet Union during the Cold War in Europe, the federal government has a history of supporting the dissemination of information into Cuba for the Cuban people through Radio & Televisión Martí, located in Miami.
Brendon Carr, Federal Communications Commissioner, tweeted:
We have the technical capability to do this & doing so would show strong support for their fight for freedom,
Biden conveyed caution in remarks to reporters yesterday: “We’re considering whether we have the technological ability to reinstate that access.”
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