WASHINGTON, D.C. (WFLA) — President Joe Biden called on the Cuban government to respect the Cuban government to respect the rights of its people in a statement released Monday.
Thousands of Cubans marched in protest Sunday in protest of food shortages, inflation, and economic hardship. Several interactions between police and protestors turned violent, resulting in numerous arrests.
In response, Biden said the United States stands with the Cuban people asking for relief from the government, which Biden blamed for the people’s economic suffering.
“We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime,” Biden said. “The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights. Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected. The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves.”
However, Cuba’s government officials have previously criticized the United States, dismissing their concerns as hypocritical. In a tweet, Carlos F. de Cossio, director for U.S. affairs, said:
US State Department and its officials, involved to their necks in promoting social and political instability in #Cuba, should avoid expressing hypocritical concern for a situation they have been betting on. Cuba is and will continue to be a peaceful country, contrary to the US.
Cuban Representative Bruno Rodriguez also said the United States is involved in Cuba’s economic problems, saying the U.S. government “has allocated (hundreds) of millions of dollars to promote subversion in our country & implements a genocidal blockade, which is the main cause of economic scarcities.”
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel also accused the “Cuban-American mafia” of paying influencers and YouTubers to push for protests in Cuba.