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ICYMI: Rubio Joins America Reports

Mar 21, 2024 | Press Releases

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined America Reports to discuss the protests in Cuba, Americans trapped in Haiti, and TikTok. Watch the full interview on YouTube and Rumble.

On the Biden Administration’s reaction to the protests in Cuba:

“I think they’ve said that the Cuban government needs to respect the right of people to express themselves, but I think we need to identify with their pleas. 

“And let me just make one thing clear: there is no U.S. embargo on food. In fact, last year, Cuba imported over $300 million of food from the United States. I think we were their second largest trade partner when it comes to food. 

“The reason why people in Cuba have no food is because Marxism doesn’t work. Everywhere Marxism has been tried, it’s led to hunger and suffering and poverty. And that’s what it’s been doing to Cuba for 60 years.”

On the collapse of law and order in Haiti:

“I think that the administration needs to be more forceful on how we go in and help get Americans out. There’s a couple problems, though. 

“The first is, you’ve got to land somewhere. The airport is being constantly threatened. On some days, it has been under the control of armed gangs. And then you’ve got to coordinate with their government or what’s left of it in order to be able to make sure your planes aren’t crashing into each other. 

“The third complexity is, a lot of American citizens don’t live near the airport. They have to travel to get there, which means they’re going to have to go through checkpoints that are controlled by gangs. The fear is that now, they become the targets of kidnapping. It’s a really horrifying situation. Some of the things we’re learning about on a daily basis are apocalyptic, the kinds of things you see in horror movies.

“I don’t think there’s any strong push to have U.S. military forces entering Haiti. There is supposed to be a group from Kenya that’s coming, but obviously they need to be able to have a police department or a government that they can link up with in order to provide security. 

“In terms of water transit, Haiti is 700 miles away from Florida. What we’re talking about are very unsafe, rickety boats that people would get in. But right now, they couldn’t even do that, because the gangs control all the access points to the ocean. It’s horrifying. There are no easy answers there. 

“I think our number one obligation, obviously, is to the American citizens that are there. We have to have a plan to help get people out, no matter what that takes. After that, it gets really complex. There are not a lot of easy answers in Haiti, unfortunately.”

On efforts to end Chinese Communist Party control of TikTok:

“What people don’t realize is that TikTok is owned by a Chinese company named ByteDance. Tiktok is just their American company, TikTok U.S. ByteDance doesn’t just control TikTok, it controls the algorithm, which is the artificial intelligence engine that picks the videos you see or don’t see. 

“We know for a fact that the Chinese intend, in a time of conflict, to use social media to try to influence Americans. Imagine those calls coming in saying America should not help Taiwan, or America should not take on the Chinese. They intend to do that using social media writ large. 

“In the case of ByteDance, the Chinese company, under Chinese law, they have to do whatever the Chinese government tells them to do. If the Chinese government tells them, ’We want you to target Americans with this message, those are the videos we want them to be seeing,’ they have to do it, whether they want to do it or not. 

“We should not allow an app that is owned and controlled by the Communist Party of China to operate inside the United States. Now, if someone else ends up owning ByteDance or owning TikTok, that’s another thing. I may still think the videos are annoying or whatever, but that’s free speech. 

“But what we can’t have is the Chinese Communist Party controlling the algorithm that can drive people to make calls like [the threatening message sent to Senator Tillis], but in a time of conflict, at the scale of millions, and manipulate American public opinion against the interests of our country.”