This week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., took to the U.S. Senate floor to weigh in on President Joe Biden’s Cuba policies.
Scott said the following:
“On July 11th 2021, in an act of incredible bravery, thousands of freedom loving people in Cuba collectively stood together to demand freedom from the oppressive Cuban dictatorship. They stood outside the headquarters of the Cuban Communist Party demanding liberty. They shouted ‘Patria y Vida’ which means Homeland and Life. In cities across the island, Cubans young and old showed that they are not afraid of the regime. It was a sign that freedom, liberty, and human rights are not merely American ideals but universal rights, given to all by God – not any government.
“In response to the peaceful protest, the Cuban Communist Party – an illegitimate and brutally oppressive regime – deployed a wave of terror throughout Cuba by unleashing its secret police and military forces on peaceful protesters and democracy leaders.
“The regime’s thugs and security forces unlawfully detained more than 1,400 demonstrators, including leaders from Cuban civil society groups such as UNPACU, the San Isidro Movement, the Ladies in White, and targeted religious and Afro-Cuban leaders.
“In the aftermath of the demonstrations and the government crackdown, crowds of Cubans and supporters of the Cuban people gathered here in Washington urging Joe Biden to act. They gathered in front of the White House. They protested in front of the Cuban Embassy. I heard their cries asking the American government to show its support. I joined them in front of the White House and in front of the Capitol.
“Joe Biden has the power to join the Cuban people to call for the Cuban Communist Party to change. But aside from a couple statements he made last year, Joe Biden has not taken one action to support the Cuban people and their fight for freedom. He’s done nothing to provide them with internet connections or to support the democracy movement on the island.
“I want to be clear: the president of the United States is known both here and around the globe as the leader of the free world. Our president, regardless of who it is, has immense power to rally our democratic allies and the freedom-loving people of the world to put pressure on oppressive regimes like the one occupying Havana, and throw the full support of the global community behind the Cuban people’s movement for freedom.
“Anyone who denies this is ignoring history. But Joe Biden hasn’t done any of that. He hasn’t even tried. Instead, he and his administration have bowed to the demands of Cuba’s murderous Castro and Díaz-Canel regime and chosen not to stand for democracy and human rights. And just weeks ago, he chose to prop up the oppressive regime with pathetic appeasement policies and sanctions relief.
“These actions bring shame to the United States, do nothing to help the people and only help line the pockets of the regime, its thugs and its evil partners in Russia, Iran and Communist China. This failed president has done more to unite America’s enemies than bring together the world’s democracies for a common cause.
“Biden’s appeasement is horrible for U.S. national security, a threat to stability to Latin America and a danger to the power of democracy across the world.
“Six months after the demonstrations started, the Senate unanimously passed my resolution that supported Cuban democracy activists like José Daniel Ferrer, and condemned the brutal torture, unjust imprisonment and severe oppression that the illegitimate communist Cuban regime is subjecting innocent Cubans to every day.
“Last week, we honored the one-year anniversary of the action of the brave Cuban people. And we remembered the horrific images of violence and oppression we saw as the illegitimate communist Cuban regime, terrified of the freedom movement, viciously cracked down on the people with mass jailing, beatings and even murder.
“Well… most of us remembered. Joe Biden could not be bothered to even make a statement. His silence on this issue shows that he doesn’t care about the consequences of his actions. He doesn’t care that he is playing into the plan of Castro and Díaz-Canel while the Cuban people get nothing in return and the security situation in the region worsens.
“When Biden doesn’t stand up to Castro and Díaz-Canel, we are left with a destabilized hemisphere that is less peaceful and puts our homeland security at greater risk. They are murderous, illegitimate dictators. Appeasement is the worst move imaginable. And you better believe that Iran, Russia and Communist China love it when Biden is nice to their friends in Latin America.
“So, in the midst of this one-year anniversary of the July 11th historic and peaceful demonstrations, I’m asking Joe Biden to call for the immediate release of the hundreds of pro-democracy activists, including children, that the regime is unjustly detaining and subjecting to physical and psychological torture.
“I hope someone in the White House is paying attention. We know Joe Biden isn’t.
“Children are locked away in jails – kept away from their families. These are kids –some just 14 years old. What is it going to take for Joe Biden to grow a backbone and do something?
“Now, I’m sure the administration will say that they have spoken out. Sure – we’ve seen statements and tweets. But that’s not enough. Where is Joe Biden? The White House can try to hide behind the words of his State Department and claim false leadership, but statements from bureaucrats and tweets from an embassy that shouldn’t even exist will never be enough. Sadly, that is all we can expect from this weak and incompetent president.
“It is essential to the national security of the United States, as well as our efforts to support freedom, democracy and human rights, that Joe Biden reverse the foolish actions he has taken and not allow totalitarian dictators in our hemisphere to go unchecked.
“I’m also calling on Joe Biden to support the DEMOCRACIA Act, legislation I introduced last year with Congressman Byron Donalds. Our bill would hold the illegitimate communist Cuban regime accountable through severe sanctions and unprecedented financial pressure, and puts safeguards in place to ensure those sanctions are not wrongfully lifted. It would also require the President to establish a taskforce to develop long-term solutions for providing reliable internet service to the people of Cuba that is not censored or blocked by the Cuban regime. As the Cuban people’s fight for freedom from the oppressive and illegitimate communist Cuban regime continues, the United States must stand up for Cuban democracy.
“We can never bow to dictators. Never.
“It is time for Biden to lead and to oppose these genocidal dictators and support human rights.”