A YEAR AGO, we saw thousands of courageous Cubans take to the streets, from Pinar del Rio to Santiago, calling for the end of a repressive dictatorship. They were demanding Libertad, daring to flaunt their rally cries in the face of brutal and repressive thugs doing the regime’s bidding. The protesters, young and old alike, have endured a generation of Marxist indoctrination, that provides nothing but misery and suffering in the absence of political or economic liberty. For some, they have given the last full measure of devotion. Some have lost their lives, some have lost their family members, and all have lost their dreams and their freedom.
The historic and peaceful protests across 32 cities in Cuba were a testament to the courage that stems from their desperation. Regardless of the beatings, imprisonment, and in some cases death, freedom is always worth fighting for. The protests were the largest to occur in the country’s 63 years of tyranny under the Castro and Diaz-Canel regime. It inspired communities throughout the world to urge Washington to stand on the side of freedom.
As a Cuban American and the first Hispanic female Lieutenant Governor, I remain steadfast in our Administration’s support of the brave Cuban people, as they risk their lives for their God-given rights of freedom of expression, economic liberty, and free and fair elections.
After the Obama and Biden Administration’s countless concessions to the Castro regime, the dictatorship continues to severely limit the freedoms of its citizens. Shortages of basic necessities like food, water, and medicine aren’t new to the island. The July 11th protests were about the decades-long deliberate actions taken by the despotic dictatorship to prevent economic liberty and freedom for the Cuban people.
Last summer, Governor DeSantis and I did everything we could to support the people marching for freedom, but the Biden Administration refused to help.
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In Florida, foreign affairs are domestic affairs. In South Florida, Cuban affairs are Florida affairs. While Florida stands proudly with our brothers and sisters on the island, the White House needs to decide where it stands. What will history say about Biden’s unwillingness to provide, even the slightest of assistance? Silence, in and of itself, is an action. While the Biden Administration continues to capitulate to dictators across the globe, here in South Florida, we continue to call for:
- Facilitating open and free satellite internet access on the island of Cuba,
- International support from our allies to stand with the freedom-seeking people of Cuba.
- The Biden Administration to warn the regime that any effort to encourage mass migration will be viewed and treated as a hostile action against the United States.
- The State Department to identify those carrying out acts of violent repression inside of Cuba, and place these individuals on a list banned from entering the United States.
- And finally, we demand the White House to issue a clear and unequivocal statement that the current policies towards the regime implemented by the Trump Administration will remain in place.
Governor DeSantis and I will never abandon the people of Cuba in their fight for freedom. Patria y Vida; Abajo la Dictadura; Viva Cuba Libre.