Jul 27 2021
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Mark Levin on Life, Liberty & Levin to discuss the historic ongoing protests in Cuba against the authoritarian regime and the continued crisis at the southern border. See below for highlights and watch Part 1 of the full interview here and Part 2 here.
On the history of the communist regime in Cuba:
“Fidel Castro was a liar from the beginning...He said he was a Democrat, he said he was going to have elections, he actually used to use religious symbolism to make people think that he was a Christian-like figure and so forth.
“And then, obviously, it all changed. He became an avowed Marxist and anti-American, almost started a nuclear holocaust with the Cuban missile crisis, and, obviously, has been a source of instability all over the world. I mean, Cubans were involved in Angola and in multiple countries in Africa. They've been involved in all the destabilization in the Western Hemisphere. They've committed horrific crimes, not just against their own people. They've killed civilian pilots -- the Brothers to the Rescue were shot down in 1996, [an] unarmed civilian aircraft [that was] searching for rafters and trying to save them.
“So it's been a horrible thing. And you're right about the coverage. I mean, even to this day, you get some ridiculous coverage about how great the healthcare system is or how their literacy rate is so high, and how evil the United States is, and how the embargo has imposed all of this terrible pain on them -- completely ignoring that the only embargo on Cuba is the one the regime has against its own people. It's one of the key points of the Trump policy towards Cuba -- if a private Cuban is allowed to open a business, we can trade and commerce with them. We just can't trade and commerce with entities owned by the Communist Party, the Marxist regime of Cuba. And that's the right policy.”
On support for the Cuban regime:
“[Support is] certainly growing as a vibrant constituency inside the Democratic Party. If you look at who raises the money, who knocks on the doors, what's their activist base, it is unfortunately for the country basically neo-Marxists, New Age Marxists -- they don't call themselves that, but that's what they stand for -- who also happen to be against whatever America is for.
“So there's a problem in the world, some suffering somewhere in Cuba or anywhere else for that matter -- there's some U.S. policy that's causing it, something we've done wrong -- because remember, at the core of it, one of the arguments that these Marxists make is that America is an inherently evil nation, founded by inherently evil men, and built on an inherently evil foundation. And, therefore, this is not a nation worth saving, this is a nation that needs to be torn down and rebuilt alongside some other image that they have for the country.
“And then part of it is, look, if you're a socialist, if you're a Marxist, you look at Cuba and you say, ‘OK, we don't like the fact they put people in jail and beat up protesters, but generally what they're trying to do over there is the right thing, you know, government sponsored this and government provided that.’
“I think for us Cuba is an example of what Marxism always wants. Marxism wants to keep people poor...because poor people are easier to control. You can use food, you can use medicine, you can use jobs, you can use education as leverage over them to get them to do what you want them to do. And I think that's a powerful lesson to take away from Cuba, from Venezuela, Nicaragua, and anywhere else where Marxism and socialism reigns.”
On the Biden Administration’s delayed response to the protests:
“First of all, it took Joe Biden twenty-four hours to even speak about it, and then their initial messages about it sort of indicates what's happening. The people in charge of Cuba policy -- which has not been a priority for Biden or the Western Hemisphere -- are people that have a long history of advocating for more engagement with the regime. In fact, the people running Cuba policy in the National Security Council and at the State Department are people that were very involved in the Obama opening towards Cuba, which was a total disaster, as admitted by some of the people who drew it up.”
“So I think that's the first thing, is their initial reaction was, ‘Yeah, they're protesting, but it's because they don't have vaccines,’ -- which, by the way, the Cuban government won't allow in. ‘It's because they're hungry, because the embargo is not allowing them to prosper. They're just hitting tough economic times, so this is the fault of the Trump sanctions and the fault of COVID.’ That was their initial reaction.
“Then they pivoted to just sort of a condemnation of it. And then Biden had a pretty good statement -- ‘Socialism has failed, Marxism has failed, Cuba is a failed state, we want to provide more Internet, we stand with the people.’ But a couple of days later, they come out with a statement that what we're going to do in Cuba is we're going to figure out a way for relatives to send more money to their relatives on the island of Cuba, leaving out completely that, (A), that's not what the protesters are asking for, (B), that the vast majority of people in Cuba do not get money from anyone abroad, and (C), that the reason why money can't go there is because the regime has set up some bank in Panama which controls it. You have to send it to that bank, they take 10percent, they keep the dollars, they convert those dollars into a worthless Cuban currency, they steal it, and Trump said enough of that.
“So [the Biden Administration leaves] all that out. So what I make of it is the people in charge of Cuba policy and this Administration are not in favor of being tougher on the regime. And, frankly, I think [they] prefer to have stability in Cuba than liberty in Cuba.”
On the threat of the Cuban regime encouraging an illegal mass migration to the United States:
“First of all, I don't suggest anyone in Cuba take to the sea -- it's not the right thing to do, I don’t want anyone to do it. And we have to be aware that the regime in the past has used mass migration as a weapon -- in 1994 and during [the Mariel boatlift] they used it against the United States as a weapon, and that can't be tolerated.
“But you saw the forceful statement from [Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas] almost immediately. Where was that forceful statement when Joe Biden was running for president, or when he became president? You know, by the time they finally got around to saying it… it had no credibility, it almost was a joke.
“These people in Central America live under very difficult conditions, have for a very long time. But these trafficking networks have gone into these countries and other places and told them, ‘hey, there's a new president, he's going to be the opposite of Donald Trump in every way.’ Some of the first things that Biden does when he takes over, no more funding for the border wall - we're going to change policies if you arrive with children, these traffickers go back and tell people, ‘hey, the laws have changed, there's a new president. You can now get into the United States, especially if you come with children.’ And guess what? That's what people are doing. They believe the laws have changed because the attitude has changed. It's this conception.
“And so that's what we're seeing now. We're seeing a crush on the southern border. That's a rotating catastrophe. It continues to escalate on a daily basis. And it was all caused by the rhetoric of Biden during the campaign and the actions he took in the first days of his administration. They didn't say what they said to the Cubans in those first days. What they said is no border wall and children and families will not be separated, you'll be allowed to stay while we process your claims and in the meantime or release you into the population. That is an incentive, we are incentivizing. They are inviting people to come here illegally.”
On the motivations of the Biden Administration:
“There's an element, there's a very vibrant, important part of the Democratic base that raises money for them, knocks on doors, their activist base, both small dollar donors, some larger donors, and the activists that go out who don't believe in borders at all. I mean, their argument basically is if you show up here, you should be able to come in. There are people in the world that argue that there should be no borders, that people have the right to migrate wherever they want.
“No country in the world, not America, not China, no nation on the planet can absorb uncontrolled mass migration. You just can't do it. It's not possible. And by the way, it's terrible for these people. We are luring these people into the hands of some of the worst human beings, these traffickers, the worst human beings on the planet. They rape the women. They abuse the children. They abandon the sick people along the route. They sell them off. They hold them hostage until they pay the fee for bringing them over. It is a terrible situation entirely created by the incentives that the Biden Administration has put in place by their words and by their actions.”
On what people are saying about the southern border:
“I'm a little bit more optimistic simply because I think if you talk to people on a regular basis, I'm talking about normal, everyday people, not people that are glued to cable television all day or spend all day on Twitter, but actually go out and have jobs and are out there involved. I don't care how they're registered to vote. They all think this is lunacy. That's a majority position in this country. What's happening on the southern border is lunacy.
“Look, if this was a Republican administration, this was happening under you, you would have bureaus, the major networks would actually establish bureaus on the border. You would have a live cam 24 hours a day. They would have a clock on the bottom of the screen, talking about how many people came in today. Just like what they did when the children were being held in these processing centers. [The Media] would be all full scale attention across the board. But now they barely want to talk about it. And when they do talk about it, it's to either A, criticize governors for sending local law enforcement to back up Texas or B, to talk about how this is being exaggerated and there really isn't a crisis.
“It's unbelievable. But I think people see it for what it is. I really don't believe people are falling for it. But, the left is oblivious to it because everybody agrees with them in the media that they think they're somehow holding the majority position in this country. They're not. And I think elections will tell that story.”