Jul 15 2021
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Fox News’ America Reports to discuss the historic and ongoing protests against the brutal Castro and Díaz-Canel regime in Cuba and more. See below for highlights and watch the full interview here.
“It's stupid. But why isn't he convening the U.N. to talk about this? Sunday, a regime 90 miles from our shore is killing people because they demanded liberty. If you invite the U.N. to tell us how racist we are, they should look at the situation in Cuba, borderline epic catastrophe spiraling out of control. Why aren't they focused on that?
“Honestly, you wake up, you read these things, it's like this can't be true. It's something from The Onion or one of these satire websites. I don't know how to describe it. I'm out of words.”
On the human rights of the United States:
“I have a record second to none, and I’m proud to say it, on human rights in the United States Senate. We have great partners across the aisle and on our side, but nobody has done more on human rights. From the Uyghur bill, which is my bill, on nation after nation. You look at a human rights cost somewhere in the world, and I'm among if not the loudest voice on it.
“There are like 199 other countries that we should worry about on human rights before we get to America. In America we have transparency. In America we have a press that covers whatever they want. Sometimes they lie, sometimes they cover, sometimes it’s a half-truth. But [if] you do something wrong in America, it's all over the place. We have a system of courts. People go to jail here because they do things that are not right. So before you get to the human rights record of the U.S., if you’re going to rank them in order of problematic, there's like 199 other places we’d have to deal with first.”
On Black Lives Matter condemning the economic embargo on Cuba:
“The only reason why I even address Black Lives Matter… they have shaken down multiple U.S. Corporations to the tune of millions and millions of dollars that then they use for their leader, a trained Marxist as she called herself, to go out and spend money on a spa resort and actually bought herself a multimillion dollar home. They are Charlatans, they are a Ponzi scheme, they are a fraud. So that’s the only reason I care about them is because they’ve shaken down and continue to shake down corporations.
“In the case of the embargo, the only embargo on Cuba is the one that the Cuban government has imposed on its own people. Do you know who the number one food exporter to Cuba is? The United States of America. Do you know that we send over $200 million a year in medicine and humanitarian supplies? Did you know that over $3 billion, which is a significant percentage of their overall economy, are remittances from Cuban Americans to their family members?
“The Cuban government will not allow a Cuban to open a business. You can't open a hardware store in Cuba - they won’t let you. Fishermen can't sell their fish to people in Cuba. Farmers can’t sell their food. They are the ones that have an embargo against their own people. If they allow their people to open businesses, there's nothing in the law that prohibits us from being able to do business with independent people. What you can't do business with is a military owned company that controls that revenue and then uses it to repress people.”
On Black Lives Matter’s claim that Cuba has historically supported individuals of African descent, like Assata Shakur:
“I just hate talking about [Black Lives Matter] because they’re charlatans, they're posers, they're fake. They’re just there to steal money from people… I hope the audience sees who they are now.
“[Assata Shakur] is a cop killer. She murdered a trooper - that tells you everything you need to know about that organization.
“I don't know if people know this, but if you watch the videos, it's pretty obvious. Cuba has a very substantial percentage of people of African descent, a lot of them were in the streets getting their heads cracked open by that regime. They need to watch the videos and stop talking nonsense and stupidity.”
On White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stating that communism is a failed ideology:
“I agree with Jen Psaki. I can't believe I'm saying that. I wish they would have said that Sunday night instead of today. But look, at least they’re finally saying it. We're making some progress here on convincing them that it’s ok to condemn Marxism.
“But at the same time, I'm hearing, right now as we speak, that the people driving Cuba policy in this Administration are telling President Biden that the response that we should have to what happened is that we should once again lift Trump-era restrictions that did not allow the Cuban military to control the money that Cuban Americans send their relatives. You would send money to your relatives, they would take 10 or 15% off the top and skim it and it would all go into their pockets to repress people. Some people in the Administration are telling the President, our response should be to allow them to do that again.
“It would be a big win. The regime would say, ‘this cracking of the heads we did Sunday really worked. All we have to do is make stuff bad for the people on the ground and the Administration will scramble to try to meet one of our demands in order to address it.’ You send a dollar, the regime takes 10 cents of that dollar. They don't give you the 90 cents in dollars, they give it to you in worthless Cuban currency. They put the dollars in their pocket as a foreign reserve. All the stuff that they do sell in that country of any worth is all sold in government stores for dollars. So that is another way to get the dollars out of your hands.
“Listen, allow banks to go in there, allow financial tech companies to go in there, and you can send all the money you want to your relatives. You just can't send it through the company that’s owned by the military, the regime of Cuba. You just can't send it to the people that are killing people in the streets in Cuba. That's all. If you change that, if that is their response to what happened on Sunday, it's a slap in the face. An insult to brave people that took to the streets and demanded liberty and were met with bullets, beatings and jail.”
On the protests on the streets in Cuba becoming a larger moment:
“It's a process. It's not one day to the next. I'm not telling you this is Batista jumping on a plane in the middle of the night and taking off…
“But that process has already started. What people don't get, this movement you saw in the street, nobody organized it. It literally started because people are fed up and they took to the streets in one city. It got on social media, and before you know it, it was in over 50 cities - that’s unprecedented. And then people saw what the regime did to them, and that created a rupture that is irreversible.
“The only question now is whose side are we on and who are we going to help? Which is why on Monday I asked the President to make internet access in Cuba a priority. Yesterday as a follow up to that meeting we had with the White House, we spoke to the companies that can do this. They did it in Puerto Rico after 2017 following [Hurricane] Maria. There is a way to use federal facilities in Key West, in Key Tortugas, and Guantanamo Bay on the island to provide, using these new, helium balloons the ability to get unfettered internet access to the people on the ground, so they can talk to themselves, they can communicate with the world, and they can take action and begin to build a new country.”
On what President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel should discuss in their meeting:
“That Nord Stream pipeline that she wants so badly and helps Russia so much. I’ve spent the last four years being told anything that’s good for Russia is because they have compromising information on somebody, so why do they want this thing so badly? It's terrible for the region. It’s terrible for our allies in NATO. It might be good for Germany in the short-term. I hope that’s on the agenda… Why are we doing anything to help Vladimir Putin?”