White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki deflected growing questions surrounding the Biden administration’s handling of pro-democracy protests in Cuba; saying starving Cubans are opposed to “mismanagement.”
“The reason people want to leave Cuba is because they don’t like Communism,” said one reporter with Fox News. “Do you think people are leaving Cuba because they don’t like Communism?”
“I’m not sure what your question is. Why are people leaving Cuba?” asked Psaki. “People are leaving Cuba and protesting as well because they’re opposed to the oppression, the mismanagement of the government in the country.”
Watch Psaki’s comments above.
BIDEN STATE DEPT: Cuban Protesters ‘Expressing Concerns About Rising COVID Cases’
A top official at the US State Department weighed-in on the growing pro-democracy protests sweeping Cuba over the weekend; stating that demonstrators are unhappy with “rising COVID cases and medicine shortages.”
“Peaceful protests are growing in #Cuba as the Cuban people exercise their right to peaceful assembly to express concern about rising COVID cases/deaths & medicine shortages. We commend the numerous efforts of the Cuban people mobilizing donations to help neighbors in need,” posted Acting Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Julie Chung.
Peaceful protests are growing in #Cuba as the Cuban people exercise their right to peaceful assembly to express concern about rising COVID cases/deaths & medicine shortages. We commend the numerous efforts of the Cuban people mobilizing donations to help neighbors in need.
— Julie Chung (@WHAAsstSecty) July 11, 2021
Pro-Democracy protests erupted across Cuba Sunday evening as demonstrators demand liberty, greater economic opportunities, and access to COVID-19 vaccines as the Communist regime targets some journalists and other reformers.
Frustration with the dictatorships incompetence,greed & repression is mounting rapidly pic.twitter.com/eSAr8Xrxpf
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 11, 2021
— Mag Jorge Castro🇨🇺 (@mjorgec1994) July 11, 2021
Tens of thousands of people in #Cuba are protesting at this very moment.
The regime is shutting off the internet on the island. The Castro dictatorship doesn’t want the world to see what’s happening.
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) July 11, 2021
— Yusnaby Pérez (@Yusnaby) July 11, 2021
Massive Protests in the streets of Cuba right now pic.twitter.com/7H0KkR7ueX
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 11, 2021
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
GRAHAM SOUNDS OFF: Senator Says Biden ‘A Deer in the Headlights’ on Cuba, The ‘Squad’ Wants Communism
Senator Lindsey Graham called-out Democrats in Congress and President Biden this week after the Party failed to strongly support pro-democracy activists in Cuba; saying the White House is acting like a “deer in the headlights.”
“Freedom needs you now, President Biden,” Graham (R-SC) said on Fox News’ “Hannity.” “The people of Cuba need you to speak up. You should go on television very soon and say, ‘We stand with your right to demand freedom in Cuba, in our backyard. We’re with you, we stand against the regime that’s putting people in jail and snatching them off the streets.’
“This is a moment for Joe Biden to stand up for freedom in the face of oppression and communism and thus far he’s AWOL,” Graham added.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 14, 2021
“America’s with the people in Cuba. The ‘Squad’ is not America,” he said. “Bernie Sanders is a Democratic socialist. I like him personally, but Castro has their tongue. They actually admire the Castro model in Cuba. The problem is that the ‘Squad’ can’t speak up against communism and socialism because that’s sort of where they want to take our country.”
Biden finally released a statement Monday.
“We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime,” the president said. “The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights. Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected. The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves.”
Read the full report here.