EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is criticizing President Biden’s administration for its preliminary prognosis on the causes of mass protests that broke out in Cuba on Sunday.
In a press release offered to Fox Information, Rubio mentioned greater than 60 years of “socialist dictatorship and oppression, in addition to extraordinary braveness from the Cuban folks, have led to this historic second.”
His message was at odds with the State Division, which initially tied the historic protests in Cuba to COVID-19 considerations reasonably than the nation’s communist authorities.
Rubio slammed that cost – in addition to the president’s silence over the weekend – as a “main failure.”
“Now greater than ever, the Cuban folks want our help as they battle for his or her freedom,” Rubio mentioned.
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Fox Information reached out to the State Division which referred to a press release by President Biden on Monday praising Cuban protesters for issuing a “clarion name for freedom and aid” and referred to as on the Cuban authorities to permit for peaceable protests.
“We stand with the Cuban folks and their clarion name for freedom and aid from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the a long time of repression and financial struggling to which they’ve been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime,” Biden mentioned.
“The Cuban individuals are bravely asserting basic and common rights,” the president continued, including that these rights, “together with the fitting of peaceable protest and the fitting to freely decide their very own future, should be revered.”
“The US calls on the Cuban regime to listen to their folks and serve their wants at this important second reasonably than enriching themselves,” Biden mentioned.
White Home press secretary Jen Psaki, in the meantime, sought to border the protests being pushed by far broader frustration, calling the demonstrations “spontaneous expressions of people who find themselves exhausted with the Cuban authorities’s financial mismanagement and repression.”
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She added that the U.S. stays prepared to help Cuba in its COVID-19 vaccination effort, however the Cuban authorities’s choice to not take part in COVAX – a worldwide initiative aimed toward distributing vaccines to poorer nations – sophisticated the trouble.
“We definitely acknowledge and perceive that entry to vaccines is without doubt one of the points that quite a lot of people on the streets is voicing concern about, however we now have to find out what the mechanism can be to work with the Cuban folks to get vaccines to them,” Psaki mentioned.
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Later Monday, Rubio despatched Biden a letter saying that the present protests in Cuba “will not be nearly present financial shortages” however about “longstanding and deliberate actions taken by the dictatorship to stymy the financial prosperity and political freedom of the Cuban folks.”
In his letter, Rubio offered President Biden with six steps his administration should take to help the Cuban folks.
Fox Information’ Brooke Singman and The Related Press contributed to this report.