Monday, July 15, 2024

Biden Says the U.S. ‘Stands Firmly’ with Cuban People Amid Protests Against Regime

Earlier this week, President Biden said that the U.S. ‘stands firmly’ with Cubans and ‘their clarion call for freedom’ after thousands of Cubans mounted the biggest protests against the communist government in decades.

In a statement, Biden said; “The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights. Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected. The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves.”

Last weekend, the protests against the Cuban government started as thousands of people went to the streets of Havana and across the island after the country’s ongoing economic crisis and as it battles a surge of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. In addition to the suffering from the impacts of a decades-old trade embargo imposed by the U.S. and sanctions enacted by former President Trump just before he left office remain in place.

According to the news agency AFP, in televised remarks Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel accused the U.S. of pursuing a “policy of economic suffocation to provoke social unrest in the country.” Diaz-Canel, who took office three years ago has blamed the country’s economic crisis on the U.S. trade restrictions and the sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan expressed support for “freedom of express and assembly across Cuba. The U.S. would strongly condemn any violence or targeting of peaceful protesters who are exercising their universal rights.”