Overwhelming Bipartisan Senate Support For Cuban Freedom Fighters

The Senate Agreed To An Amendment Requiring The Biden Administration To Provide Free, Open, And Uncensored Internet Access To The Liberty-Seeking People Of Cuba

The Senate adopted by voice vote an amendment offered by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL) to support efforts to provide internet access to courageous Cuban dissidents whom the Castro regime is attempting to silence and suppress. (S.Amdt.3097, S.Con.Res.14, 8/10/2021)

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Right now, the loudest cries for liberty are coming from close to home. After enduring 60-plus years of socialist tyranny just 90 miles from American soil, the people of Cuba are telling the world they’ve had enough. … The regime’s failed communist ideology has saddled generations of Cubans with a backward economy, inadequate services, and no means of justice or dissent. Now, some naïve Americans on the left seem intent on once again running interference for the Cuban regime. They still buy the propaganda that Cuba is a socialist paradise, with a model health care and education system that we should emulate. But the Cuban people see a different reality: an open-air prison that communism has run into the ground. … The brave men and women who have taken to the streets in Cuba are demanding freedoms they’ve been denied all their lives. They deserve our strong support.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 07/15/2021)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): “I’ve been highlighting the importance of getting internet access to the people of Cuba since the historic protests began one month ago. The regime’s crackdown makes the need to act clear. Thankfully, the technology exists to provide connectivity from balloons and other methods directly to those without internet access. Efforts were underway under the Trump Administration to do exactly that, but the Biden Administration is sitting on those plans. The people of Cuba cannot afford any more delays. It is time to act.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 8/10/2021)

  • SEN. RUBIO: “Today, my colleagues sent a clear, bipartisan message that the United States is committed to getting uncensored and unrestricted internet access to the people of Cuba. The technology exists to do this without delay, and I urge the Biden Administration to begin moving forward immediately.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 8/10/2021)

SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): “As the Cuban people take to the streets to call for freedom and democracy, and an end to the brutal, illegitimate communist Cuban regime, the United States must stand with these brave freedom fighters. The communist regime is terrified of the Cuban people, trying to cut off their communication with each other and the rest of the world and doing everything in its power to prevent them from shedding light on the regime’s oppression and atrocities. The time for President Biden to review his Cuba policy is over – we need to take immediate action to implement all technology to facilitate the free flow of information to and from the island, and amplify the voices of the Cuban people by passing this amendment.” (Sen. Rubio, Press Release, 8/10/2021)


Florida Members Of Congress: ‘I Hope We Make It A Top Priority To Allow The People Of Cuba To Have Free, Unfettered Open Internet Access,’ ‘The Biden Administration Must Lead The Freedom-Loving Nations Of The World … In Support Of The Liberty, Democracy And Human Rights The Cuban People Call For And Rightfully Deserve,’ ‘We Need The President To Grant The Green Light Now So That Cubans Can Organize Among Themselves And Can Stay In The Streets’

SEN. RUBIO: “Across the island of Cuba, we are witnessing an unprecedented and organic moment. Sixty-two years of misery, censorship, repression and socialist lies have boiled over into grassroots protests by the Cuban people across the nation. In provinces ranging from Havana to Pinar del Río, Holguín, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, Camagüey, Santiago de Cuba and other municipalities, Cubans are peacefully protesting the brutal communist dictatorship of Raúl Castro and his puppet president Miguel Díaz-Canel. In the United States, however, many have so far failed to understand what has truly driven the Cuban people to stand up to decades of oppression. President Biden remained silent over the weekend while one senior State Department official laughably attributed the protests to ‘concern about rising COVID cases/deaths & medicine shortages.’” (Sen. Rubio, Op-Ed, “Listen To Cuba's Protesters – It's Not About COVID, It's About Freedom And Repression,” Fox News, 07/13/2021)

  • SEN. RUBIO: “What the Cuban people really want is the freedom to live a normal life in the country they call home. They wonder, if Cubans like my own parents, can move abroad and achieve their dreams, why aren’t they able to on their own home island? The protesters are offering a clear answer to that question: the tyrannical, communist regime under which they have suffered for six decades makes it impossible. Now, it’s time for America and the rest of the world to stand with the Cuban people as they make their voice heard and demand their God-given rights.” (Sen. Rubio, Op-Ed, “Listen To Cuba's Protesters – It's Not About COVID, It's About Freedom And Repression,” Fox News, 07/13/2021)
  • SEN. RUBIO: “I hope we make it a top priority to allow the people of Cuba to have free, unfettered open internet access. And the technology exists to do that with a satellite-based system. We should put the best minds to work on getting that done, because if the Cuban people have free and unfettered access to the internet -- the first thing the regime shut down… was the internet -- they can communicate with each other, and they can receive information and communicate with the world. It's 90 miles from our shores. We should be allowed to do that.” (Sen. Rubio, Remarks, 07/12/2021)

SEN. RICK SCOTT: “Today in Havana, the Communist Cuban regime is shaking with fear as the people rise up to denounce the oppressive communist rule that has brought ruin to their nation for more than 60 years. I stand proudly with the heroic freedom fighters across Cuba that have taken to the streets determined to regain their freedom and put an end to the Castro dictatorship. … Now, the Biden administration must lead the freedom-loving nations of the world in loud and unequivocal denouncement of the brutal communist Castro regime, and in support of the liberty, democracy and human rights the Cuban people call for and rightfully deserve. We must be clear, for decades Cuba has been the root of instability in Latin America and represented a terrible threat to the national security of the United States. Today, the American people must join freedom-loving Cubans in saying the oppression ends now. We cannot return to Obama-Biden appeasement policies. We cannot lift sanctions or restore diplomatic relations with the Cuban dictatorship. I urge the Biden administration to impose further sanctions on the tyrannical Cuban regime. We cannot let up. There must be consequences for this heinous oppression and attacks on peaceful protesters.” (Sen. Rick Scott, Press Release, 7/12/2021)

REP. MARIA SALAZAR (R-FL): “Madam Speaker, libertad. Freedom. Abajo la dictadura. Down with the dictatorship. These are the calls we are hearing from the people of Cuba. They have taken to the streets demanding the end of the Castro tyranny. We see the American flag waving on the streets of Havana because they yearn for the same thing we have: Freedom. We see the American flag waving on the streets of Havana because that is what they want, freedom. Castro has taken repression to scientific levels. There are at this hour over 500 political prisoners and thousands more are in jail. Madam Speaker, we are begging President Biden to stand with the Cubans now. The Castro regime has cut off the internet so no one will see how they are torturing the Cuban people. America has the technology to provide internet now in Cuba. We don't need any study groups about remittances. What we need is action. We need the President to grant the green light now so that Cubans can organize among themselves and can stay in the streets; so they don't feel abandoned; so they know the whole world is watching; so they can decide their own political future. Time is of the essence.” (Rep. Salazar, Congressional Record, H3661, 7/19/2021)


In July, ‘Communist Cuba Erupted In Its Largest-Scale Demonstrations In Decades’, ‘I Have Never Seen Such A Protest In My Life’

“Communist Cuba erupted in its largest-scale demonstrations in decades [in July] as thousands of people chanting ‘freedom” and ‘yes, we can’ took to the streets from Havana to Santiago de Cuba in a major new challenge to an authoritarian government struggling to cope with increasingly severe blackouts, food shortages and a spiking coronavirus outbreak. The protests, from Havana’s famous Malecon to small towns and the island nation’s eastern cities, spoke to the power of social media, as well as discontent that has bubbled to the surface in the worsening pandemic, during which Cuba has already witnessed growing political protests led by artists and musicians. They appear to have started in the city of San Antonio de los Baños and spread rapidly as demonstrators shared protests on Facebook Live. The demonstrations were so large that President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who succeeded Raúl Castro this year as first secretary of the Communist Party, called on Cuba’s ‘revolutionary’ citizens to take to the streets.” (“Cubans Hold Biggest Anti-Government Protests In Decades; Biden Says U.S. Stands With People,” The Washington Post, 7/12/2021)


Cuban Americans Want Bolder Action From President Biden, ‘I Was Expecting Something More Forceful Than Just Sanctioning Cuban Officials Who Don’t Travel To The U.S. Anyway’

“Belkis Gutiérrez, 54, is constantly on her phone looking at videos from Cuba that show people's discontent with the government following the historic protests that rocked the communist island several weeks ago. Gutiérrez, who supported President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, said she wants to see more bold action from the administration toward Cuba following the arrests of protesters and worries over food shortages and rising Covid-19 cases. ‘I was expecting something more forceful than just sanctioning Cuban officials who don’t travel to the U.S. anyway,’ said Gutiérrez, who left Cuba two decades ago and has close relatives on the island.” (“Cuba Policy Is Domestic Politics. It's A Tough Spot For Biden.,” NBC News, 8/06/2021)

  • “Many Cuban Americans want to see bolder action against the Cuban government... While the protests in Cuba have subsided, in Miami the momentum continues. Cuban Americans have been rallying in support of them in Miami and Washington, D.C. Cars drive around Miami with Cuban flags, while reggaeton and salsa songs calling for freedom in Cuba play on the radio. The emotion that Cuban Americans feel after hearing the word ‘freedom’ chanted in the streets of Cuba is still palpable in conversations.” (“Cuba Policy Is Domestic Politics. It's A Tough Spot For Biden.,” NBC News, 8/06/2021)