In an exclusive interview granted to Breitbart Texas, Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) said his state stands with Cuban people protesting the socialist regime authorities in that country. The governor said in a statement: “For decades, the Cuban people have suffered under an oppressive, communist regime that has deprived them of the freedoms we cherish in America.”
He continued, “The Cuban regime has clearly rejected the freedoms and free-market values that make Texas and America so exceptional. The State of Texas stands with the Cuban people as they fight to free themselves from this oppressive regime. Cuba Libre!”
Abbott visited Cuba in December 2015, after the Obama administration relaxed some economic and diplomatic relations limits. At that time, the governor stated that he believed that more open trade with the country would help the island nation’s people feel empowered to fight for their freedom. Abbott said he wanted to take the “Texas brand of freedom, entrepreneurship and free enterprise” to the Cuban people.
Abbott said, “I visited Cuba in 2015 to pry open a window into the opportunities and values that come with freedom and free enterprise. Opening economic ties with the Cuban people could have paved a path out of the poverty I witnessed.”
Gov. Abbott has previously said that he will not call for a lift of the federal government’s embargo on Cuba. “I am working under the way the law is today. I can aid Texas business leaders in working within the confines of the existing law,” he has said.
While Abbott and Republicans generally blame Cuba’s communist dictatorship for the plight of the Cuban people, many Democrats fault the embargo and the United States.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said in a written statement: “The embargo is absurdly cruel and, like too many other U.S. policies targeting Latin Americans, the cruelty is the point. I outright reject the Biden administration’s defense of the embargo. It is never acceptable for us to use cruelty as a point of leverage against everyday people.”
Last week, protesters outside the White House said that the Cuban people are fighting for political freedom and not against the embargo. “People in Cuba are tired of being repressed by the regime, the government. It’s 62 years of repression, people going to jail just for saying ‘freedom of speech,’” another person said. “In Cuba, there is no freedom of speech. They don’t need food well. They need it, but they’re not fighting for that,” one protestor stated.