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Douglas Andrews / July 12, 2021

Will Democrats Support the Cuban Uprising?

After decades of tyranny and poverty, the Cuban people are signaling they’ve had enough.

In 2009, the first year of Barack Obama’s presidency, Iranian freedom fighters rose up and took to the streets to protest a rigged presidential election. This pro-democracy “Green Revolution” was ultimately crushed by Iran’s tyrannical Islamist theocracy, but not before the freedom fighters had implored the Obama administration for help.

Instead of lending the voice and the moral might of the free world to these revolutionaries, Barack Obama did what he would ultimately do time and again during moments that called for moral courage: He chose cowardice. When faced with backing either the nascent pro-democracy forces or the “Death to America” mullahs, Obama voted “present.”

And today, we wonder: Is history about to repeat itself with Joe Biden and Cuba? As Fox News reports:

Anti-government protests broke out Sunday in Cuba demanding freedom and calling on the disbandment of the country’s communist dictatorship, all while some of the U.S.‘s most outspoken, self-professed Democratic socialists appear to be in lockstep by not acknowledging the historic events unfolding on the island about 90 miles from Florida.

Fox News has emailed Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Sen. Bernie Sanders and has yet to receive a response from any of them. As of early Monday, none have even mentioned the protest on social media.

Thousands of Cubans marched on Havana’s Malecon promenade and elsewhere to protest food shortages, high prices and the coronavirus outbreak in one of the biggest anti-government demonstrations in the country ever.

Take a look:

What, specifically, are the people protesting? As the Miami Herald reports, “In an unprecedented display of anger and frustration, thousands of people took to the streets Sunday … to call for the end of the decades-old dictatorship and demand food and vaccines as shortages of basic necessities have reached crisis proportions and COVID-19 cases have soared … [and] Cuba is in the throes of its worst economic contraction in over three decades.”

The silence from the Biden administration had been both deafening and predictable until mid-morning today, when the administration issued a statement that, however brief, expressed strong solidarity with the protesters:

We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime. The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights. Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected. The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves.

Was the statement anything more than a shrewd political calculation? We’ll soon find out. At this point, it’s a sternly worded memo. But the Democrats, with their decades-long appeasement of the island nation’s communist regime, have routinely lost the votes of Florida’s highly influential Cuban expat community. A strong statement here was thus all but essential, but time will tell whether the Biden administration backs it up with something stronger than words.

To no one’s surprise, Texas Senator Ted Cruz beat the Biden administration to the punch. Early Sunday evening, Cruz, himself the son of a Cuban immigrant father, tweeted: “The Communist Cuban regime will be consigned to the dustbin of history. It has brutalized and denied freedom to generations of Cubans, and forced my family and so many others to flee. The American people stand squarely with the men and women of Cuba and their noble fight for liberty.”

Stirring words. For the sake of the Cuban people, let’s hope he’s right.

As for Bernie Sanders, Sandy Cortez, and their fellow Democrat socialists: nothing but crickets and tumbleweeds.

(Updated.)

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