Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pressed President Joe Biden to immediately move to provide internet access to pro-freedom Cuban demonstrators that protested the island nation’s communist dictatorship over the weekend.
The letter from DeSantis comes after Cuba’s communist government cut off internet access on the island in an apparent effort to stop the protests from growing and to prevent the world from seeing the government’s response to the protesters.
The Biden administration said earlier this weekend that Cubans that attempt a maritime sea voyage to the U.S. will not be allowed in the country, even if they have legitimate asylum cases. The response from the Biden administration, combined with their apparent lack of action, led to critics accusing the administration of responding based on what is favorable for the Democratic Party.
“I write to urge you to assist in providing Internet access to the people of Cuba standing up against communist oppression and demanding a voice after decades of suffering under the yoke of a cruel dictatorship,” DeSantis wrote in his letter to Biden. “As you know, the Cuban people are taking to the streets to protest the Communist regime, and the Cuban government has responded with violence. At first, the world could see the images and videos of this mass movement, but now the tyrannical regime of President Miguel Díaz-Canel has shut off access to the Internet. The Cuban people have lost their ability to communicate with one another, and many Floridians born in Cuba have no information on the safety of their loved ones. Equally as important, the world has also lost the ability to see what is happening on the ground as the Cuban people rise in support of freedom.”
The letter to Biden comes after DeSantis, Florida Republicans, and prominent national Republicans have called on the Biden administration to act. DeSantis said earlier this week that the administration was acting with “cowardice” and that Biden has been “weak” with his response to the crisis, specifically his administration’s refusal to call out communism.
“Technology exists to provide Internet access into Cuba remotely, using the innovation of American enterprise and the diverse industries here. Similar to the American efforts to broadcast radio into the Soviet Union during the Cold War in Europe, the federal government has a history of supporting the dissemination of information into Cuba for the Cuban people through Radio & Televisión Martí, located in Miami. In addition to sending information, however, our efforts must include creating a means for the Cuban people to speak to the world,” DeSantis continued in the letter. “I urge you to act immediately to provide all necessary authorizations, indemnifications, and funding to American businesses with the capability to provide Internet access for the people of Cuba. Steps must be taken immediately.”
“Internet access for the Cuban people is of critical importance as they stand up against the repressive Communist government,” the letter concluded. “In the hands of these brave individuals, such access may be the key to finally bringing democracy to the island.”
I urge President Biden to assist in providing internet access to the people of Cuba standing up against communist oppression and demanding a voice after decades of suffering under a cruel dictatorship.https://t.co/fjSKNxuchW pic.twitter.com/br4iPHZ4k1
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 14, 2021