For those energized by recent historic human rights protests in Cuba, a group of Republican members of Congress from Miami-Dade and their allies in Washington, DC, have been a beacon for Cuba’s future freedom.
On the night of August 4, this group, operating under the general title of House Minority Leader of the United States Kevin mccarthyâThe Cuba Leader’s Advisory Teamâ organized its lecture tour at the Versailles restaurant in the Cuban enclave of Little Havana in Miami.
They were greeted by some 700 people, many of whom waved and carried Cuban flags and hoisted placards with messages about Free Cuba, all demanding freedom for the island nation and more action from the president. Joe bidenthe administration of. Some praised the former president Donald trump and opposed “dumber sanctions”.
Frequently in unison, the peaceful assembly of protesters demanded the intervention of the United States. Several rallygoers have repeated called the Cuban president Miguel Diaz-Canel a murderer.
But the event was far from joyless. For every passionate and indignant cry for US military action, there was an example of merriment, camaraderie, and celebration of a united cause – dancing, singing, kissing – as if the participants knew they were helping to write a story page together.
Oddly enough, it was the strangers among members of Congress who spoke up – non-Miamiens and non-Cubans – who drew some of the loudest responses of the night with calls for delivery by the United States. of Internet access to the island but few other concrete measures.
Those of Miami-Dade – Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos gimenez and Maria Elvira Salazar – delivered oratories similar to those they gave near the United States Capitol a week before.
GimÃ©nez said Biden was missing a major political opportunity by not taking a more forceful stance on Cuba. DÃaz-Balart again pleaded for escalation. Salazar thanked McCarthy for his support, presenting him as “the future Speaker of the House”.
McCarthy spoke mostly in platitudes but asserted that for Cubans and opponents of communism, âThis is not a moment; it is a movement, and we will not stop until we have freedom for Cuba.
Democrats, meanwhile, called the Republican speaking tour of Cuba nothing less than a sign of virtue.
Abel Iraola, spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called the Miami speeches a “pathetic and cynical attempt to appropriate the Cuban people’s struggle for freedom for their own political ends.” They have lost all credibility, he said, due to their attempt to “invalidate millions of legitimate votes” from the 2020 election and “persistent apologies for those who carried out the Jan. 6 attack on the government. Capitol â, among other irregularities.
“In the long years that we Cuban exiles in Florida have suffered as our homeland has been mismanaged and destroyed by a brutal and incompetent Communist regime, we have grown used to certain things,” Manny Diaz, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, said in a statement. “One of them sees half-hearted Washington Republicans coming to Miami in an attempt to reap the political benefits that often come from bowing to our community.”
Diaz called McCarthy “one of the least credible voices possible when it comes to defending the ideals of democracy” and that his “cowardly attempts to undermine House inquiries into the violent insurgency targeting Congress January 6 (and) voting to overturn the 2020 election results âis proof that his support for democracy is circumstantial.
At the Wednesday night rally, Mike mccaul from Texas, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, added to his speech a few common phrases in Spanish with squeaky inflections, which won over the participants.
âI come from the great state of Tay-has. We love Cubans in Tay-has, âhe said to the crowd’sâ Thank You âchants. “You know, Fidel Castro promised more than 60 years ago a utopian society, communism and socialism. Guess what? This is a lie. It does not work. It is time for the Castro regime to end.
Towards the end of his speech, the longest ever given by an elected official that evening, McCaul transformed the crowd’s song “Libertad” – “Liberty” in Spanish – into “USA”
representing Brand Green, also from Texas, invoked religion to defend Cuban freedom. He compared the right of a people to express themselves and defend their freedoms to that of an under-represented loyal sect to the divine right of unhindered worship.
âFreedom in Cuba would be like people of faith being able to practice their religion without harassment from the government,â he said. âOur right to freedom comes from God, and no government should ever take it away from us. “
âWhen a mother doesn’t have to stand in line for two hours for food, rice and beans to feed her hungry children, that’s freedom,â he said. âWhen artists can say what they believe in their music, their paintings and their creations, that’s freedom. When the communist regime in Cuba breathes its last and a democratic republic is reborn from its ashes, Cuba is free. And it is time.