Earlier this week we reported on the historic anti-communist protests taking place in Cuba, along with the weak response from the Biden administration.
The White House has been criticised for its delay in commenting on the demonstrations, and also for mischaracterising them merely as protests over vaccines shortages rather than what they actually are: a historic denouncement of six decades of communist oppression.
Since the protests began, communications and internet in Cuba have been cut off by the Communist regime. But reports have leaked into the U.S. of ‘Communist repression squads’ arresting and killing protesters; severe food shortages, bank closures, radio stations being taken over by demonstrators, and more than 100 activists missing.
From Miami to Seattle, crowds of Americans have taken to the streets in a show of solidarity with the people of Cuba. Among them are many who fled Cuban communism for freedom in the United States.
Given further opportunities this week, the Biden administration still refused to denounce the Marxist doctrine that has inspired 62 years of Cuban repression. “Do you think that people are leaving Cuba because they don’t like communism?” one reporter asked Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki point-blank. She responded,
We think people are leaving Cuba — or protesting in the streets as well — because they are opposed to the oppression, to the mismanagement of the government in the country. And we certainly support their right to protest. We support their efforts to speak out against their treatment in Cuba.
Psaki refuses to admit the Cuban people are protesting against Communism pic.twitter.com/OWcXJjS5V0
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 14, 2021
Meanwhile, Biden’s Secretary of Homeland Security Ali Mayorkas — who fled Cuba as a child — has this week told those fleeing Cuba, “You will not come to the United States… Again, I repeat: do not risk your life attempting to enter the United States illegally. You will not come to the United States.” This despite lax Biden border policies that have invited successive months of record border crossings.
The National Review addressed this contradictory stance, echoing the thoughts of many by musing:
It’s impossible to ignore the fact that Cubans are often treated differently. Perhaps it’s because a sizeable number of them — having first- or secondhand experience with socialism — vote Republican, and progressives are interested only in future Democrat voters.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz, whose family members still live in Cuba and have been sending him reports of the situation, had this advice for President Biden:
When it comes to Cuba, it’s not complicated. Here’s what Joe Biden needs to say: “The communist dictatorship in Cuba is evil. It is oppressive. They are murderers. They are torturers. And the people want freedom. The American people stand with the Cuban people.”
Sen. @tedcruz: "The communist dictatorship in Cuba is evil. It is oppressive. They are murderers, they are torturers, and the people want freedom … the Biden administration has been lukewarm at best on that simple and clear messaging." pic.twitter.com/30hyvgJCje
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) July 14, 2021
Cruz labelled the once-in-a-generation Cuban protests “an inflection point”, and said, “America ought to stand up and speak boldly on the side of freedom and against the communist dictatorship.” He also highlighted the squeamish reluctance of key Democrats to denounce Cuba’s Communist rulers:
The socialists in Congress, the Democrats who are unwilling to condemn the regime — the reason is the Cuban government is a socialist dictatorship and American socialists don’t want to acknowledge the evil and suffering and oppression that Cuban socialists are imposing on the people.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been equally elusive on the topic of Cuba this week.
When Cuban dictator Fidel Castro passed away in 2016, Trudeau showered him with glowing praise. However, while Trudeau this week called for greater freedom and attention to human rights in Cuba, he too stopped short of condemning the root cause: Cuba’s Communist regime.
Erin O’Toole, the Opposition Leader in Canada, called Trudeau out on this, saying in a statement, “We can’t afford more of Mr. Trudeau’s glowing admiration for dictatorships.” He continued:
For too long, Cuba has been ruled by ruthless dictators who have curtailed the rights and freedoms of its people and committed terrible acts of oppression, murder, and tyranny…
Mr. Trudeau has voiced strong support for the Castro regime, once referring to Fidel Castro as a ‘legendary revolutionary and orator’ who has a ‘tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people’. In fact, the Castro regime is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Cubans.
Photo: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden arrive at a state dinner on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP)