The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the pro-freedom protests in Cuba. Cubans are protesting for freedom and liberty, while carrying the American flag. This is ironic because protesters in the United States hate the American flag, tromp on it, and desecrate it.
Another irony of the protests is the attitude of the Biden administration. “Refugees” from 160 nations in the world are allowed to cross the southern border because they want a better life in America. Yet, Cuban refugees from communism are told that no one coming by sea will be allowed into the United States.
Fred Lucas reported that the communist dictatorship in Cuba is allowing travelers to bring food and medicines to Cuba even during the protests. Even with this softened attitude, authorities are continuing to call for “mass arrests and detention of peaceful protesters.”
Democrats are surprisingly quiet about what is happening in Cuba. Nevertheless, Republicans have called for the Biden administration to support the protesters more actively. The United States and other free nations seem to be waiting to see what happens in Cuba, while at the same time seeming to condemn the government of Cuba. Lucas listed six things that we should watch for in Cuba.
1. Movement by Regime.
… For the first time, Cuban President Miquel Díaz-Canel made a concession about the regime’s shortcomings after previously blaming the U.S. and social media for the unrest….
Díaz-Canel warned Sunday that protesters would face a strong response from the authorities….
However, by Wednesday, Cuba’s president used a slightly more conciliatory tone in a televised address, while still characterizing the protests as “violence.”
“We have to gain experience from the disturbances,” Díaz-Canel said. “We also have to carry out a critical analysis of our problems in order to act and overcome, and avoid their repetition.”
2. Cuban Government’s “Call to Combat.”
Nevertheless, the United States is concerned about the crackdown on protesters that the Cuban government referred to as a “call to combat,” U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday.
“We remain deeply concerned by the Cuban government’s quote ‘call to combat’ and by the images of violence we’ve seen over the past two days,” Price said. “We call for calm and we condemn any violence against those who are protesting peacefully. We equally call on the Cuban government to release anyone detained for peaceful protest.”
In a swift departure from in place since the Biden administration came into office Jan. 20, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Cubans—and Haitians—fleeing political violence not to bother coming to the United States.
“Allow me to be clear. If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” Mayorkas said.
This move also marked a historic break from the past, as the United States traditionally has granted asylum to Cubans fleeing persecution since the 1959 revolution.
“The time is never right to attempt migration by sea,” Mayorkas said. “To those who risk their lives doing so, this risk is not worth taking. … Do not risk your life attempting to enter the United States illegally.”
The Biden administration’s response has come under criticism from other fronts.
Talk show hosts and other pundits argued that Democrats assume that illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America will vote for Democrats, but know that Cuban refugees tend to favor Republican policies.
The Biden administration expressed support for the protesters, but has been reluctant to criticize Cuba’s communist dictatorship.
One reporter asked this question Wednesday of White House press secretary Jen Psaki: “Do you think that people are leaving Cuba because they don’t like communism?”
Psaki didn’t give a straightforward response in answering that Cuban citizens are upset with “mismanagement” by their government.
“I think we’ve been pretty clear that we think people are leaving Cuba—or not—leaving Cuba or protesting in the streets, as well, because they are opposed to the oppression, to the mismanagement of the government in the country,” Psaki reporters. “And we certainly support their right to protest. We support their efforts to speak out against their treatment in Cuba.” …
[This answer shows Psaki’s ignorance. Cuba is a communist nation, and its citizens do not have the “right” to protest.]
For now at least, Cuban authorities have restored internet access for Cubans, The Washington Post . Those with internet access restored were able to see images of the communist government’s crackdown on protesters, the Post noted.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose constituents include numerous Cuban Americans with family members still in that country, had called for the United States to provide internet service to Cuban citizens, who live fewer than 100 miles from his state.
“I write to urge you to assist in providing internet access to the people of Cuba standing up against communist oppression and demanding a voice after decades of suffering under the yoke of a cruel dictatorship,” DeSantis, a Republican, in a letter to Biden. …
On Tuesday, China’s communist government essentially expressed support for Cuba’s communist regime and blamed the United States for the protests.