Steube Leads Letter Calling Out Biden’s Failed Response to Cuban Protests, Demands Support for Fight Against Communism
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) today led colleagues in sending a letter to President Joe Biden regarding his Administration’s failed response to the protests taking place in Cuba.
“The unified voice of the Administration must be clear: the current protests are the result of sixty-two years of oppression and not the result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Steube wrote. “The situation is dire, and the Cuban people deserve our support in their struggle for freedom. It would be a severe mistake to lift sanctions on the Cuban regime which would only give the brutal dictatorship more resources to use in its crackdown against protestors. Do not let a springtime of the Cuban people turn into a winter of oppression.”
Steube has also joined other Florida U.S. Representatives in legislative initiatives to recognize the bravery of the Cuban people, failures of the Biden Administration, and horrors of communism. Most recently, he cosponsored a resolution from U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) expressing solidarity with the Cuban people in their demands for freedom from Cuba’s communist regime.
Recently, the Cuban people have participated in historic protests against the communist, Castro regime. The protesters have taken to the streets waving flags and demanding an end to the decades-long oppression they have faced.
Members of the Administration, along with liberal Members of Congress, have either remained silent on the protests or have tried to inaccurately blame U.S. policies for the Castro regime’s oppression. Rather than supporting the people after decades of suffering, some elected officials have even suggested that the United States lift sanctions and the embargo against the regime, thus allowing them additional resources to continue brutalizing the Cuban people.
Steube currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The full text of the letter can be found here or below.
President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C., 20500
Dear President Biden,
We write to you today urgently concerned about the current situation in Cuba. The dictatorship of the Communist Party of Cuba under Miguel Díaz-Canel has continued their mismanagement of the country’s economy and escalated the repression of basic human rights of the Cuban people. The result has been the Cuban people rising up to demand an end to the dictatorship and the return of freedom to the island. We strongly urge you to call for an end to the dictatorship and to support the protection of the Cuban people in their struggle.
For over sixty years the hard-working people of Cuba have lived under the brutal hand of Cuban security forces. They have arrested journalists live on the air, violently dispersed crowds, limited freedom of association and information, forced dissidents into exile, and ruthlessly suppressed political dissent. They have exported their model abroad and helped other dictatorships in the region keep their boot on the face of their people. The unified voice of the administration must be clear: the current protests are the result of sixty-two years of oppression and not the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Responding to the cries of their people, the dictatorship has mobilized the baton, forced disappearances, and the threat of death to disperse the protesters. As of right now, one protester is dead and more than 140 have been arrested or reported missing. For those missing, their families have no recourse to find out their fates. If the regime is allowed to gather itself, these numbers will only escalate as a new wave of repression will be unleashed on the island.
Further, the disappointing announcement from the Department of Homeland Security calls into question your administration’s understanding of the seriousness of the situation. This administration carelessly opened the southern border, ignoring the increased human and drug trafficking, but are unable to open doors to those fleeing a brutal dictatorship. Asylum for political purposes is the very basis of the international asylum system. Telling Cubans that if they were to come to the United States now that they would be relocated to a third country is a slap in the face to those currently living in fear of the long arm of the Cuban security forces. The mother and child watching their husband be abducted from their home, the young teenager forced into service with the communist youth organizations, and the artist forced to keep silent for fear of being disappeared have a valid claim to asylum. While we should not encourage a rafting crisis that may result in the loss of life crossing a dangerous stretch of water, we must stand ready to receive asylum seekers.
There have been some voices that have found a way, even now, to blame the United States for the current crisis. We should be clear and unequivocal that American policy on Cuba does not prohibit the import of food or medicine into Cuba, it was actually a Cuban law that did just that. American policy did not force the Cuban dictatorship to sell quality goods for American dollars while forcing their own people to rely on the weakening peso. American policy did not force the Cuban dictatorship to seize the labor of the farmers and workers for the needs of the dictatorship. American policy did not force the Cuban dictatorship to deny their people political liberties and rights. The dictatorship alone made these choices that led to the current situation.
The situation is dire, and the Cuban people deserve our support in their struggle for freedom. It would be a severe mistake to lift sanctions on the Cuban regime which would only give the brutal dictatorship more resources to use in its crackdown against the protesters. The administration should increase its targeting and enforcement on Cuban military intelligence. I urge your administration to take every action to work for the support and protection and of the Cuban protestors including working to provide internet access to the Cuban people. Do not let a springtime of the Cuban people turn into a winter of oppression.