Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) told Breitbart News in an interview Wednesday that she believes protests beginning on July 11 in Cuba are “the beginning of the end” for communism there.
“There is no turning back. After 62 years of a repressive apparatus that has been extremely effective, people lose everything: their homes, their families, their health, their education, because Cuba is a completely failed state,” Salazar said. “But now they have lost fear, which is the last thing that you lose in a communist regime — and Cubans lost it.”
Salazar was referencing island-wide anti-government protests that erupted across Cuba on July 11. A demonstrator reportedly streamed a protest on Facebook, which then went viral and enabled Cubans in other parts of the country to participate in what became the largest anti-government protest on the island in decades.
Since protests began, police have opened fire on crowds and beaten protesters in the streets. In the immediate aftermath of the protests, the regime shut down nationwide access to the internet and ordered door-to-door raids of homes in the cities that had the largest protest turnout.
Salazar, who represents the city of Miami — or, as she calls it, “the heart of the Cuban exile community” in the U.S. — said liberation in Cuba could become a reality much sooner if the Biden administration would intervene.
“The immediate ask is connectivity and leadership. That doesn’t cost money. You don’t have to go through Congress. You only need to prove to the world that you are really who you say you are — the top diplomat and somebody that loves freedom,” she said, addressing President Joe Biden.
Brendan Carr, senior Republican commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), told Breitbart News Sunday host Joel Pollak that U.S. firms can provide internet access to Cuba and circumvent the digital blockade imposed on the one-party island state.
Breitbart News reported:
“We have the technical capability to circumvent that Internet blockade [in Cuba], and there’s two ways we can do it,” Carr told Pollak. “One, we can introduce new Internet connections and services from off-island that can connect directly to the smartphones of the people that are right there in Cuba. That’s path one.”
He continued, “Path two is we need to further bolster the technology that allows Cubans to circumvent the blockade on their own infrastructure. So we need to do both of those, and we can do both of those. It’s simply a question of ‘Do we have the political will in the Biden administration to give the green light that’s necessary for American enterprises to engage in those activities?’”
“The only actual question that matters is [related to] political will,” he emphasized. “Do we have the political will to do this? If we do, then the technological issue is not in the way.”
The Biden administration publicly said it is considering providing internet to the people of Cuba, though it has taken no action in two weeks.
“If you turn on the wifi, the Cubans will know that they are not alone. They will start communicating among themselves once again, and then they will decide if they want to go back into the streets or not,” Salazar said. “It’s up to them because that’s how everything started on July 11.”
On leadership, Salazar said Biden needs to rally the international community to condemn Cuba’s dictatorship. She also said Biden has the opportunity to “redress the historical mistake called the ‘Bay of Pigs,”‘ the massacre of dozens of Cuban exiles in April 1961 prompted by President John F. Kennedy promising and not delivering air support to a military invasion against the communist regime, planned — thanks to Kennedy — in such a way in which succeeding without air support was impossible. Exiles who did not escape by sea were rounded up and either killed or imprisoned by Castro’s forces. Kennedy’s betrayal has largely been blamed for helping to solidify Castro’s communist regime on the island.
“And look, I am a Republican, but it doesn’t matter. We need help from everyone else. This has nothing to do with political parties,” she said. “This has to do with a group of Americans helping a group of Cubans that want to have what we have: freedom, civil rights, free market economy, and democracy.”
The congresswoman also warned of Americans falling prey to the false promises of socialism and noted Cubans are frustrated because they know “how bad socialism and how bad communism can be.”
“That’s why we’re fighting. That’s why I won. Because we know that this Democratic socialism dream that some of my colleagues on the Democratic side are selling — it’s a farce. It’s not true. It may be noble in theory, but it’s miserable in practice,” she said.