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Ron DeSantis, Florida GOP demand Biden ‘step up’ in wake of Cuban protests

A trio of Florida Republicans led by Governor Ron DeSantis brought down the Biden administration Wednesday, say it doesn’t do enough to help the Cuban people following protests against the Communist regime in Havana last week.

During an appearance on Fox News “Hannity” from Miami’s Versailles Restaurant, DeSantis called on Biden to “step up and stand on the side of freedom.” Governor repeated his insistence that the White House help provide internet access on the island after the Cuban government shut down social media sites at the height of the protests.

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

“As it is now, he’s basically just sitting there doing nothing,” the governor added. “He let these people dry out, and what happens, if they don’t get any support, will the regime continue to hold back, and eventually they will put this out and then there they will stay even stronger in power, and that will be a blow to the cause of freedom. “

Cubans are seen outside Havana's Capitol during a protest against their government on July 11, 2021.
Cubans are seen outside Havana’s Capitol during a protest against their government on July 11, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images

Cubans came to the streets of Havana and other cities across 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 were detained in the ensuing crackdown. The Cuban government has acknowledged the death of one protester, but opposition sources say the toll is much higher.

Last week, Biden described Cuba as a “failed nation” and communism as a “global failing system” and added that his administration was “looking at whether we have the technological capabilities to restore” internet access on the island.

President Joe Biden made a statement during the protests, which called for the regime in Cuba "listen to their 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 Representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.), accused Biden of refusing to meet with them to discuss next steps.

“We are very disappointed. We are very upset, because we respectfully called and we told the Biden administration that this has nothing to do with political parties,” said Salazar, whose district includes Little Havana. of Miami, told host Sean Hannity. “He won’t see us.”

“We asked for meetings,” Rubio agreed. “It hasn’t happened so far.”

Salazar charged that Biden “didn’t pay attention to the people shouting in the streets of Havana, ‘Libtad!’ They don’t say ‘Remove the embargo’ or ‘We want more vaccines’ or ‘We want more food. No, they’re saying “we want freedom”… the Biden administration needs to pay attention to us. “

Rubio went on to suggest that resolving the situation in Cuba is “not a priority” for the White House.

“You have to understand, there’s a part of his voting base that really thinks the regime is good, really brags about the regime,” the senator said. “People who openly say that. I mean, Black Lives Matter Foundation said. And I said, ‘That’s great. My office will help the Black Lives Matter Foundation immigrate to Cuba. ‘”

Despite the ongoing crackdown, Rubio asserts 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 animal and we need to do everything we can to hasten its passing.”

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https://nypost.com/2021/07/22/ron-desantis-florida-gop-demand-biden-step-up-in-wake-of-cuban-protestsron-desantis-florida-gop-demand-biden-step-up-in-wake-of-cuban-protests/ | Ron DeSantis, Florida GOP demand Biden ‘step up’ in wake of Cuban protests

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