President Biden on Monday expressed the US’ support for the people of Cuba and Haiti, as anti-government protests erupted in the Communist country over the weekend and Haiti is mired in chaos amid a leadership dispute after last week’s assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
“The Cuban people are demanding their freedom from an authoritarian regime. I don’t think we’ve seen anything like these protests in a long, long time if, quite frankly, ever,” Biden told reporters at the White House before a meeting with officials on America’s surging crime and gun violence.
“The US stands firmly with the people of Cuba as they assert their universal rights. And we call on the government of Cuba to refrain from violence in their attempt to silence the voices of the people of Cuba,” he said.
The president also said the US is in solidarity with the people in Haiti.
“The people of Haiti deserve peace and security and Haiti’s political leaders need to come together for the good of their country,” he said, adding that he dispatched a high-level delegation to the Caribbean nation to determine what role the US could play.
“The United States stands ready to continue to provide assistance, and I’ll have more for you as we move on,” he said.
The president’s words come after the White House issued a statement saying the US backs 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.”
Protests broke out in Cuba over the weekend against the Communist regime in towns and cities, with people chanting “Freedom” and “Enough” and calling for President Miguel Diaz-Canel to step down.
Haiti’s Moise was gunned down in his home last Wednesday by a group of men claiming to be agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
First lady Martine Moise was wounded in the attack.
A well-known Haitian doctor, Christian Emmanuel Sanon, with ties to South Florida and who is suspected to be the ringleader of the hit squad that killed Moise, has been taken into custody.