Michael Cardinal, FISM News
Protestors held a candlelight vigil outside the White House late Sunday night to commemorate July 26 and demonstrate their belief that the Biden administration is not doing enough to back the anti-regime movement happening in Cuba.
This is the most recent in a string of US protests to show solidarity with those who have taken to the streets of Cuba to demand freedom from the communist regime. Even though Biden announced additional sanctions on the Caribbean country on Thursday, those in the crowd held signs demanding that his administration do more.
There were a variety of opinions amongst those in the crowd as to what exactly should be done, as referenced by their protest signs. Some wanted a more direct response in the form of a military intervention, while others pleaded that Biden meet the physical needs of the Cuban people by means of direct humanitarian relief.
— Sheldon Fox-7 News (@fox_sheldon) July 26, 2021
Thousands showed up to Washington D.C. from all over the country over the weekend, though a large majority came from Miami by the bus load. July 26 was chosen with purpose as it is a Cuban national holiday commemorating the day that Fidel Castro first attempted to overthrow the dictator of Cuba at that time. It is believed that more Cuban Americans and other supporters are still on their way to the nation’s capitol and that the protests will continue throughout the day. Representative Maria Elvira Salazar joined the crowd that had gathered last night to show her support of their movement.
¡Si #Cuba🇨🇺 está en la calle, nosotros también!
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) July 26, 2021
When asked what he would want to say to President Biden, one protestor told Fox & Friends, “Listen, we are here to send a loud and clear message and that is that the Cuban people need help. We need an intervention. We are here to let him know that we are fighting for our freedom.”
On Monday, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken joined 20 other foreign ministers in a joint statement that called for restored internet and condemned the mass arrests by the Cuban government. Blinken said “Democracies around the world are coming together to support the Cuban people, calling on the Cuban government to respect Cubans’ demands for universal human rights.”
However, according to the protestors as well as many politicians, these statements and the sanctions that Biden announced last week in practicality amounts to nothing. One of the biggest pushes from Republican politicians like Marco Rubio and Ron DeSantis is for Biden to restore internet to the island so that the voice of the Cuban people can be heard. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the administration is “exploring a range of options” to make this a reality, but many have seen this as a smoke screen, believing the White House is not treating this with the urgency that it deserves.