Cuban American protesters gather in DC, demand action from Biden

Cuban Americans are making their voices heard, gathering outside the White House to demand stronger action from President Biden against the Communist leaders of Cuba.

“Libertad! Libertad!” shouted hundreds of gathered outside the White House in a protest that began Sunday and continued into Monday. 

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Anti-Communist protesters have come to D.C. mostly from Florida, and they have had a consistent presence near the White House since the largest anti-government protests in a generation broke out this month in Cuba.

????#SOSCuba ???? The Cuban people have taken to the streets demanding FREEDOM and the regime has once again cut off ALL INTERNET on the island. The Biden Administration must grant the green light and help the people of #Cuba get back online!!” tweeted Rep. Maria Salazar (R-FL).

Salazar is the “daughter of [Cuban] exiles,” and has served in the House since January 2021. Congresswoman Salazar is a five-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and holds the distinction of being the only US Spanish-language journalist to ever interview dictator Fidel Castro one-on-one.

July 26 is significant in the Cuban tradition, as it marks a Cuban holiday National Rebellion Day. The holiday commemorates the storming of the Moncada barracks by Fidel Castro and the revolutionaries in 1953. The protesters were heard shouting, “Patria y Vida” (“Homeland and Life”) in addition to the constant chants for liberty. 

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Many lawmakers, including Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have called on the Biden administration to restore internet access to Cuba after a blackout was initiated by the Communist authorities. The absence of internet access prevents the people from organizing and distributing information on the protests effectively via social media.

“They’ve cut off access to the internet. We’re considering whether we have the technological ability to reinstate that access,” Biden said Thursday at a press conference, President Biden said during a press conference on July 15. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) thinks the administration needs to do more. He said last week that Republicans are weighing legislation to force the president’s hand.