President Biden is weighing bolstering the staff at the US embassy in Havana to support the Cuban people as anti-government protests rock the Caribbean island, according to a report.
“On July 11, the world watched as tens of thousands of Cuban citizens marched through Havana and cities across Cuba bravely asserting their fundamental and universal rights and demanding freedom and relief from the oppression of Cuba’s authoritarian regime,” a senior administration official told Fox News.
“The Biden-Harris administration has and will continue to stand with the Cuban people,” the official said.
The official said the president is directing his administration to reach out in support of the Cuban people and hold the Communist regime responsible.
Biden has asked the State Department to review staffing levels at the embassy to ensure there are enough personnel to carry out the diplomatic work and outreach to the people, and the administration is trying to find ways to work with the private sector to increase internet access in Cuba after the Communist government shut down digital communications.
Also part of the ramped-up efforts, Biden is considering ways to increase humanitarian assistance and will continue identifying Cuban officials responsible for human rights violations.
Biden’s moves come after he was roundly criticized for his lukewarm response to the anti-government demonstrations nearly two weeks ago.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is of Cuban descent, slammed the White House for initially saying that Cubans were protesting the government’s “mismanagement.”
“The people protesting in the streets in Cuba are not protesting ‘mismanagement.’ If you listen to what they’re chanting, they’re not chanting ’manage better.’ They’re chanting ’libertad.’ They’re chanting ’freedom.’ They’re chanting down with the dictatorship,” Cruz said during a recent appearance on Fox News.