Rubio says it's time for Biden to choose: Communism or Cuba's people

President Joe Biden arrives to delivers remarks to essential and frontline workers and military families attending the Fourth of July celebration, Sunday, July 4, 2021, on the South Lawn of the White House. (Official White House photo by Katie Ricks)

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., says it is time for Joe Biden, who has waffled on the citizens’ movement seeking freedom in Cuba, to decide whether he’ll support communism or the island nation’s people.

“It is time for America and the world to choose: Will they actively support the Cuban people demanding their God-given rights and freedoms, or will they help stabilize the Castro-Díaz-Canel regime?” he writes in a commentary at Real Clear Politics.

He explained there is no doubt America should support the Cuban people, who have been in a state of revolution for a month, demanding human rights and freedom.

Rubio said the path is clear: “First, we need to help get Internet access onto the island. While VPN access is good, it is not sufficient to overcome service shutdowns. The United States has the resources and technologies to get uncensored Internet to the Cuban people. Efforts were underway during the Trump administration to do exactly that, but the Biden administration is sitting on those plans.

“Second,” he said, “President Biden needs to use his decades of foreign policy experience to engage our allies and international organizations. The silence of the United Nations and the Organization of American States is stunning. Meanwhile, nations like Mexico and Spain seem eager to give tacit and even material support for the Castro-Díaz-Canel.

Third, he said, “The Biden administration needs to coordinate humanitarian efforts, including shipments of food and medicine, with trustworthy organizations and individuals inside the island. Doing so will help sustain the Cuban people, who are at risk of being starved and left to die of treatable illnesses.”

The senator said it is unfortunate that Biden and his appointees “are taking the complete opposite approach. While imposing sanctions on already sanctioned individuals, the administration is also talking about allowing more remittances to flow into the hands of the dictatorship. Doing so would surely stabilize the flailing regime, but it would be a demoralizing slap in the face to the protestors.”

He said the images were clear just a month ago when the “long-oppressed Cuban people rose up in a historic challenge to the island’s brutal regime.”

“Vivid images” of the dispute followed.

But then the regime “cut off Internet access, jailed hundreds of protestors, sent their infamous secret police after others, and withheld food, medical care and other essentials from the very people they are supposed to protect.”

Biden’s advisers have been involved in a waffling from silence and confused messaging to symbolic sanctions.

But he said, “There is no going back to the pre-July 11 status quo.”

He said “artists, poets, songwriters, writers, actors, and musicians are speaking out against the regime, depriving the dictatorship of cultural legitimacy. And Afro-Cubans, a long marginalized community on the island nation, are increasingly and defiantly at the forefront.”

Rubio said it’s now communism or freedom: “There is no third way or middle ground.”

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