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ICYMI: Rubio: One Month Ago Cuba Changed Forever, But Now What?

Aug 11, 2021 | Press Releases

One Month Ago Cuba Changed Forever, But Now What?
By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
August 11, 2021

Real Clear Politics

It was only a month ago when the long-oppressed Cuban people rose up in a historic challenge to the island’s brutal regime. The world saw vivid images of Cubans taking to the streets to call for an end to the dictatorship. And thanks to social media, the world actually witnessed the regime’s savage crackdown and the courage of the Cuban people. Then, a week later, everything went dark and the world moved on.
What happened?

The Castro-Díaz-Canel 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. When there was no outcry from the international community, the regime knew it had a free hand to continue its decades of abuse.
From the moment spontaneous protests broke out on July 11, President Joe Biden’s pro-engagement advisers waffled between silence and confused messaging before moving on to symbolic sanctions and outright sympathy for the brutal regime. The international community acted no better, simply turning a blind eye.

But here is what the Biden Administration, the international elites, and the Cuban dictators do not understand: there is no going back to the pre-July 11 status quo.

The regime hopes Cubans will grow tired and weary, letting the heavy burden of decades of oppression snuff out their hope. There is no way Cuba’s governing regime can address the grievances of its people because while the protests might be in part due to the COVID crisis, Cubans are demanding political change, basic freedoms, and an end to the dictatorial system.

These are the very people who were indoctrinated from birth by the Castro regime. It is a remarkable turnaround, and speaks to the fundamental failure of Castro’s so-called revolution. In fact, it is hard to overstate the cultural rejection of the communist revolution.

Just take the informal anthem of the Cuban protestors, a song called “Patria y Vida,” which means fatherland and life. Created by Afro-Cubans, this new slogan is a direct contradiction to the regime’s “Patria o Muerte,” which means fatherland or death.  

Evidence of the Cuban people’s desire for change is everywhere.

There is no doubt we need to support the Cuban people. The strategy is commonsense and straightforward; in fact, I have outlined the path forward multiple times over the past month.

Unfortunately, President Biden and his administration are taking the complete opposite approach. While imposing sanctions on already sanctioned individuals, the Biden 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.

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?

There is no third way or middle ground.

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