Widespread protests started across Cuba this past weekend, with citizens taking to the streets demanding an end of the communist Castro regime that has ruled the nation since 1959. Protesters have been waving American flags amid demonstrations that have mainly remained peaceful so far.
Florida is a traditional stronghold for Cuban-American voters who typically support Republican anti-communist candidates. Republican politicians in Florida have been providing vocal support for the freedom protests.
Governor Ron DeSantis posted on Twitter on Sunday: “Florida supports the people of Cuba as they take to the streets against the tyrannical regime in Havana. The Cuban dictatorship has repressed the people of Cuba for decades & is now trying to silence those who have the courage to speak out against its disastrous policies.”
The Republican Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, wrote on Twitter: “The Cuban regime’s military police are shooting at unarmed Cuban protestors fighting for freedom. Sixty years of communism, cruelty, & oppression cannot last any longer! We are imploring the USA to take action as we peacefully demonstrate on the streets of Miami.”
Senator and former governor Rick Scott posted on Twitter: “The courageous people of Cuba took to the streets determined to regain their freedom and demand the end of the dictatorship. America & every freedom-loving nation must fully support the brave Cuban people in their calls for liberty & human dignity. The world is watching.”
Senator Marco Rubio wrote on Twitter that “those in the military must defend the people, not the communist party.”
In an interview with the New York Post: “The United States needs to stand firm with the brave Cuban people as they protest the Castro regime and its years of oppression and communism. Instead of ignorantly blaming the protests on COVID as some Administration officials have, Joe Biden needs to be vocal in support and take action as they fight for freedom, opportunity, and liberty.”
Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez, a Cuban-American, said, “I stand in solidarity with the freedom-seeking people of Cuba calling for the end of the communist dictatorship. The Castro’s continued repression won’t keep the Cuban people from peacefully demanding their God-given rights. As Cubans risk everything in protest, Florida will continue to support our Cuban brothers and sisters who are fighting for freedom, democracy, and human rights.”
Comments from the Biden White House on the protests have been sporadic. Press Secretary Jen Psaki was equivocal when asked if the administration supported the protesters’ use of the American flag, stating that “the president certainly respects the symbol of the American flag” and that he “also believes people have the right to peaceful protest.”