Florida Lawmakers Salazar, Diaz-Balart, Gimenez Rally Behind Pro-Freedom Cuba Protestors

Florida Lawmakers Salazar, Diaz-Balart, Gimenez Rally Behind Pro-Freedom Cuba Protestors

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
March 18, 2024

South Florida Lawmakers voiced their support for Cuban pro-freedom demonstrations as scores of Cuban citizens took to the streets on Sunday to protest governmental human rights abuses. 

Thousands of Cubans publicly expressed their disdain for the present communist regime’s repression of fundamental freedoms as well as the dire economic crisis ravaging the island. 

The protests concentrated in Santiago, Cuba, but were also dispersed across the nation. 

In response, the Cuban government froze cell phone service to stymie future protests and curtail ongoing ones. 

Cuba has been subject to authoritarian communist rule for the past 64 years. 

Daily blackouts and food shortages have plagued the nation for years. 

While Western countries claim Cuba’s Orwellian economic regulations are the root cause of poverty on the island, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel blamed the ongoing US embargo. 

Floridian legislators backed the Cuban protestors and called for a regime change. 

US Representative Maria-Elvira Salazar (R-FL) claimed the protests reflect the “pleas for help of a people that have hit rock bottom.”

Similarly, US Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) sympathized with the Cuban people, whom he claimed are “courageously demanding essential rights in the face of brutal oppression.”

State Senator Ileana Garcia (R-36) responded to the protests by criticizing domestic proponents of communism. 

“Many think communism is about sharing, it's equity, and they compare it to the socialist system in Europe,” said Senator Garcia. “Communism is oppression, misery, hunger, and death.”

US Representative Carlos Gimenez (R-FL) also commented on the Cuban crisis and demanded President Joe Biden provide satellite internet for Cuba to counter the regimes’ telecommunications manipulations. 

Recently, Representatives Salazar, Balart, and Gimenez also pressed President Biden to retain Cuba’s status as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. 

Currently, there are four countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism. These include Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iran, and Syria.

Being designated as a state sponsor of terrorism implicates a host of sanctions and restrictive laws.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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