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South Florida congress members show solidarity for the Cuban people, push Biden administration to act

Several South Florida lawmakers showing solidarity for the Cuban people in Washington are asking the Biden administration to help the island nation by providing internet access.

WASHINGTON – Members of congress from South Florida showed their support for the Cuban people in Washington, as many activists took to the streets on the island nation Monday.

On Tuesday, several South Florida leaders, including Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, who represents Miami’s 27th Congressional District, held a press conference with republican colleagues outside of the U.S. Capitol, in a show of solidarity for the Cuban people.

“I’ve asked Carlos Gimenez and Mario Diaz-Balart to be next to me because the words that I am going to be speaking echo what they are feeling,” said Salazar.

Cubans are calling for change, wanting basic human rights, as reports of widespread crackdowns by the communist regime intend to prevent the protests from happening.

“Stop helping the murderous regime in Cuba, wake up, wake up,” said U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart R-FL, District 25.

“This is probably the most hopeful that I’ve been in 60 years that true change can happen,” said U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-FL District 26.

The lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to take action against the Castro regime. But first, help restore the internet, so the Cuban people can be informed.

“I don’t have any problems in giving President Biden all the credit if he stands with the Cuban people, and all I’m asking the White House is something very simple, connectivity,” said Salazar.

Following the antigovernmental protests in July, the Cuban regime restricted internet access all over the island. Cuban authorities also blocked social media access to sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Telegram.

“The technology to do it exists, it’s not easy but it can be done especially in key moments when we know the internet is going to be shut down, it’s a matter of will and desire,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

Lawmakers at the conference on Tuesday also said inaction is not an option.

“Anytime anybody goes out into the street in a peaceful way just demonstrating against that they want change the regime comes down on them beating them up and getting all those goons to repress them... those are powerful images,” said Gimenez.


About the Authors:

Ben Kennedy is an Emmy Award-winning Washington Bureau Chief for Local 10 News. He has more than a decade of reporting experience nationwide.

Veronica Crespo writes for Local10.com and also oversees the Español section of the website. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism and Spanish.