While thousands of Cubans are being repressed by the island’s regime and thousands of others are protesting around the world against the Castro dictatorship headed by Miguel Díaz-Canel, socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) decided to defend the communist regime established by the late Fidel Castro. This is yet another example of his affinity towards regimes that violate human rights.
Last Sunday, July 11, a crowd staged a series of protests in Cuba against the tyranny of Miguel Díaz-Canel and the Communist Party (PCC). An unusual event in a country where the only authorized rallies are those of the ruling party, while those of the opposition are usually cruelly repressed. This is the largest protest in the island’s recent history.
When the demonstrations began in Cuba, Sanders kept silent, but on Monday he issued a statement in which he urged the “government” of Diaz-Canel to refrain from violence and took the opportunity to criticize the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba; a measure the country has taken to pressure the island’s regime.
This is not the first time Sanders has come out in favor of Cuba’s tyranny. In an interview from last year, during the Democratic presidential primaries, he said it was “unfair to simply say everything is wrong” on the island.
“We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad,” he said. “You know, when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?” he asked.
Likewise, a video filmed in 1980 reveals a speech by Sanders where he said he felt “very excited” with the arrival of Castro’s revolution in Cuba. On other occasions he has praised the late dictator, saying he “educated his children, gave them medical care and totally transformed society.”
The Democratic senator has not retracted comments he made in favor of Castro, who is responsible for the exodus of millions of Cubans to the United States.
Biden demanded more action against Cuban tyranny
In the same line of discourse as Bernie Sanders, on Monday, July 12, dictator Díaz-Canel accused the U.S. government of promoting “a policy of economic asphyxiation to provoke social outbursts” in his country.
President Biden denied the accusations and in a statement supported the “clamor for freedom” in Cuba. He also called on the regime in Havana “to listen to its people and attend to their needs at this vital moment instead of enriching itself”.
While thousands of Cubans took to the streets of Florida to demand U.S. intervention in Cuba, Cuban-American congressmen and exile leaders asked Biden not to negotiate with the Díaz-Canel regime and to do what is necessary to reestablish the Internet on the island, where citizens are protesting and demanding freedom.
In an attempt to combat Cuba’s blockage of the internet on the island, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) called for internet companies in Florida to analyze whether providing internet to Cuba from the U.S. is possible.