President Biden said Thursday he plans to create an internet source for the Cuban people after the government shut down access amid mass protests.
An internet blackout was imposed by the Communist state on Sunday after Cubans took to the streets in historic protests against food shortages, inadequate access to the coronavirus vaccine and unreliable electricity.
“We are examining whether we have the technological capacity to restore that access,” Biden at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday.
Biden also rejected both communism and socialism in response to a question.
“Communism is a failed system, a universally failed system, and I don’t see socialism as a very useful substitute,” the president said.
“Cuba is, unfortunately, a failed state and represses its citizens,” he continued. “There are a number of things that we are planning to do to help the Cuban people, but they would require … a guarantee that they would not be exploited by the government.”
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The Cuban government ended the internet shutdown on Wednesday, revealing videos and footage revealing law enforcement efforts to quell protests, but the service was unreliable.
The president’s comments come a day after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent a letter to Biden asking him to restore the Internet to the Cuban people.
Other senior Florida officials including Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Republican Representatives Maria Elvira Salazar and Carlos Gimenez, and FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr joined DeSantis’ calls and held a joint press conference on Thursday. to ask the president to take action.
“We see people on the island of Cuba fighting against a Communist dictatorship,” DeSantis said. “A free Cuba is a noble cause.
“We need to stand with the Cuban people against the Communist dictatorship, and one of the most effective things we can do as a country is to restore the Internet to the island, but we need the Biden administration is mobilizing to make this happen, “he added.
WHITE HOUSE CALLS COMMUNISM A “FAILURE IDEOLOGY” AFTER CUBA’S HISTORIC PROTESTS
Biden highlighted calls for the re-authorization of remittance aid to Cubans – a policy that was reversed under the Trump administration – but said he would not consider that option at this time.
“Because the point is, the regime is very likely to confiscate these remittances,” Biden said.
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He further highlighted the possibility of the United States sending aid in the form of COVID vaccine distributions, as the virus remains a serious threat in Cuba.
But he said he would only allow such an option if he was “assured” that an international organization would oversee the administration of vaccines to ensure equitable distribution among the population.
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