TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Following a townhall event focused on the crisis in Cuba on Hannity last night, Cuban-American leaders in Florida are commending Governor Ron DeSantis’ call for the Biden Administration to take action and provide internet access for the people of Cuba who are standing up against communist oppression.
Over a week ago, Governor DeSantis sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging the federal government to provide internet access into Cuba remotely to support those demanding freedom from their repressive Communist government. There has not yet been a response to the letter.
“As the people of Cuba continue to rise against the tyrannical regime, they deserve our nation’s support,” said Lt. Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “The Governor urged the Biden Administration to take immediate action to provide a pathway for unfettered access to the internet, but we have yet to receive a response. My parents fled the oppression orchestrated by the communist Castro regime. As a Cuban-American, I stand with our brothers and sisters on the island who desperately yearn for freedom.”
“Cuba’s regime is a failure because socialism doesn’t work,” said Senator Marco Rubio. “The regime is run by evil, incompetent people whose Marxist ideology inevitably leads to poverty and tyranny as the communist rulers hold their people hostage. However, since the people of Cuba have had access to the internet, they have seen how their families are living outside of Cuba, how their siblings and cousins are thriving here in America. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration’s Cuba policy team is staffed with regime sympathizers who are standing in the way of the restoration of internet access on the island. Governor DeSantis and I know that we have the technological ability to allow the people of Cuba to continue to expose the regime’s terror, and we are working every day to get the Biden Administration out of the way of our American innovators who want to further the cause of freedom for Cuba.”
“I came to the United States from Cuba in 1954 when I was 13 years old,” said Felix Rodriguez, a former CIA officer and the former president of the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association, Brigade 2506. “I looked across the water and saw the horror of what Castro and the Communists were doing to my beloved Cuba and I knew I had to do something, so I joined the Bay of Pigs invasion and then worked for many years for the CIA across three continents to fight Communism. Before the Communists shut off the internet, what I was seeing coming out of Cuba last week gave me more hope for the future of my homeland than I have felt in a long time. As we said in the CIA, information is power, and the internet allows the people to receive and send information that threatens the regime. That is why what Governor DeSantis is doing to try to restore the internet to Cuba is so important. Florida must be an inspiration for all other states in the union to follow.”
“We always appreciate it when Governor DeSantis comes to visit the Cuban exile community because he is in complete solidarity with the mission to rid Cuba of Communism,” said Ambassador Carlos Trujillo, former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States. “Some in Washington are trying to obfuscate and say that this is about vaccines or because of the embargo and they propose as the solution that we lift sanctions, send more diplomats, and, in effect, prop up the regime. We have to be abundantly clear: This has been 63 years of oppression, 63 years of a totalitarian regime, and the people of Cuba are yearning for freedom and democracy. Unlike those currently in Washington, Governor DeSantis believes in the founding principles of this country, the very principles of liberty that we saw the people of Cuba, for the first time in a long time, taking to the streets to demand — that is until the internet was cut off by the regime. We are so appreciative of the work that Governor DeSantis is doing to put pressure on the Biden administration to allow us to beam unfettered internet to the people of Cuba and we know that he believes in Cuba Libre.”
“We are at the threshold for a new dawn of freedom in Cuba,” said Sylvia Iriondo, President of Mothers and Women Against Repression (M.A.R. por Cuba). “At this critical time, we must stand with those courageous Cubans in the island demanding freedom and the end of the communist regime, in spite of the brutal repression and terror imposed by the dictatorship. We ask the United States to lead the free world in enacting urgent and concrete measures to support their struggle for fundamental liberties and rights. Governor DeSantis is a true friend, and I was honored to have the opportunity to be here tonight to hear him talk about what he has done and what he is going to continue to do to bring decisive support to the Cuban people.”
“I was born in Cuba after the so-called revolution,” said Jorge Luis “Antúnez” García Pérez, leader of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front and Representative Abroad of the Academy of Civic Action Julio Machado. “Like all Cubans of my generation, I was indoctrinated, misinformed, and manipulated by the Communist regime because there is no freedom of information. In Cuba there is poverty: moral poverty, political poverty, and economic poverty. The only way we can eliminate all the poverty in Cuba is by replacing the Communist regime with a free, democratic, constitutional government. That can happen if the people of Cuba have access to information outside of the government-controlled narrative. That means ensuring internet access on the island. Governor DeSantis understands this, and that is why we appreciate all that he is doing for all Cubans. I would also add that some people have accused our Governor of racism over the past few weeks as we Cubans took to the streets in Miami and across Florida in support of Cuba Libre. As an Afro-Cuban, I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. As a Cuban, I ask that all who support the cause of freedom for Cuba don’t block roads and always keep your demonstrations peaceful. Governor DeSantis is on our side and we have to respect the rule of law here in Florida as we seek to bring the rule of law to Cuba. Our brothers who are in Cuba need to know that we are united and focused on liberty for our country and our enthusiasm, pain and patriotism for liberty will help us reestablish freedom in Cuba.”
“The people on the streets of Havana are screaming libertad,” said Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar, Florida’s 27th Congressional District. “They’re not talking about the embargo or talking about the vaccines — they’re calling out for freedom. Just last week Governor DeSantis came to my district office in Miami with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr to talk about how we can bring internet back to the people of Cuba so they can communicate with each other and share the horrors of the regime with the entire world. Governor DeSantis, Senator Rubio, and I will continue to put pressure on the Biden administration until we get the green light for Florida and the Cuban-American community to restore internet in Cuba.”
“For over 60 years the people of Cuba have lived in a state of Communist repression,” said Tomás Pedro Regalado, the former mayor of Miami and former head of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting. “We are talking about a country where, when Fidel died a few years ago, people could not smile on the street without being accused of being a counter-revolutionary and viewed with suspicion. Suddenly the people of Cuba have decided to rise up and because of the internet we were able to witness the first moments of their heroism and the beginning of the ensuing, brutal crackdown. The exchange of information is so important and that is why as head of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting and Radio Televisión Martí, I developed a new satellite broadcast strategy. Governor DeSantis understands that some of those technologies can be used to further the cause of Cuban freedom now if only the current administration in Washington would let us, so we thank him for his efforts.”