President Joe Biden
issued a statement
on Monday in support of the Cuban people
against their government in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic
, which has resulted in food
shortages as well as high prices.
As thousands of Cubans took to the streets in the country's largest protests in years, Biden issued a statement applauding the demonstrators and urging Cuba's authoritarian government to "hear their people."
“We stand with the Cuban people and their unmistakable call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic, as well as the decades of repression and economic suffering endured by Cuba’s authoritarian regime,” Biden said in a statement.
The statement follows comments on Twitter
by senior State Department official Julie Chung and Sen. Marco Rubio
(R-Fla.) in support of the protests. Rubio, whose state has the highest population of Cuban Americans, chastised Biden for failing to address the crisis sooner.
A mocking tweet from the Department of State. Protests in #Cuba aren't just about the COVID. And it's 10:15 p.m. and still nothing from @joebiden @POTUS #SOSCuba #PatriaYVida https://t.co/vLt8SCUXeK
pic.twitter.com/OQrWaSCHgI — Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 12, 2021
Thousands of Cubans marched across the country on Sunday, including on Havana
's Malecon promenade, in defiance of the government's reputation for suppressing dissent.
“We're tired of the lines and shortages, which is why I'm here,” one protester told the Associated Press
Protests in support of Cubans have since spread to other countries, including Miami
's Little Havana district and Madrid, Spain
Cubans are calling on President Miguel Diaz-Canel to resign in the face of an increase in COVID-19
cases, a shortage of basic goods, and restrictions on civil liberties, according to Reuters.
According to The Washington Post
, Diaz-Canel blamed the unrest on the US trade embargo and stated that his regime was “willing to go to any length” to put an end to the protests.