FORMER President Donald Trump released a statement saying President Joe Biden needs to “stand up” to the Cuban government.
Protests – some of them violent – broke out across Cuba as people protested the economic crisis, shortages, and sanctions.
Trump called on Biden to ‘stand up’ to the Cuban government[/caption]
WHAT DID TRUMP SAY?
In his statement, Trump took aim at Biden, as well as former President Barack Obama.
“Big demonstrations are breaking out in Cuba and Miami in protest of the Communist Cuban government (although, today there are zero protesters in Cuba–you know what that means!),” Trump wrote.
“Don’t forget that Biden and the Democrats campaigned on reversing my very tough stance on Cuba.
“Remember when Obama attended baseball games with Castros while they imprisoned, beat, and killed the Cuban people. I stand with the Cuban people 100% in their fight for freedom.
“The Government must let them speak and be free! Joe Biden MUST stand up to the Communist regime or–history will remember. The Cuban people deserve freedom and human rights! THEY ARE NOT AFRAID!”
WHAT HAS BIDEN SAID?
On Monday, Biden said the US “stands firmly” with the people of Cuba.
“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,” Biden said in a statement.
“The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves,” Biden went on.
Later, the president added that Cuba has not seen “anything like these protests in a long, long time if, quite frankly, ever.”
“The U.S. stands firmly with the people of Cuba as they assert their universal rights. And we call on the government of Cuba to refrain from violence in their attempt to silence the voices of the people of Cuba,” he said.
WHY ARE CUBAN PEOPLE PROTESTING?
The government has mainly blamed the seismic slump on the pandemic and US sanctions, which date back to the Cold War.
Protestors, meanwhile, are calling for a change in the system and for the Cuban president to step down.
Sanctions imposed by the government to combat the pandemic shut down tourism and slowed other foreign revenue flows in a country dependent on them to import the bulk of its food and fuel.
Most read in US News
To combat the pandemic, Cuba began a mass vaccination campaign, with 1.7m of its 11.2 m residents vaccinated to date, and twice that many have received at least one shot in the three-shot process.
However, the arrival of the Delta variant has prompted cases to surge, with health authorities reporting a record 6,923 cases and 47 deaths on July 11- twice as many as the week before.
According to local reports, this grim milestone appeared to be the final straw as people shouted “down with the dictatorship” and violently attacked police officers.
Biden said the US ‘stands firmly’ with the people of Cuba[/caption]
Protests erupted this week with people demanding the Cuban president step down[/caption]