Demonstrations seen in Cuba over the weekend might finally help break the communist stranglehold over the island nation, but America needs to help, according to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., on Newsmax.
"I'm always optimistic when people take to the streets and decide that they're not going to stand for it any longer," Diaz-Balart told Monday's "Rob Schmitt Tonight." "It's a big risk they [take]. The Cuban people know the risk that they're taking. This is a regime that will crack down and murder and disappear people.
"So, they know the risks that they're taking. They've just had enough. They're not going to take any more of this."
The 59-year-old Diaz-Balart's father served as the majority leader of the Cuban House of Representatives before the family fled the country following the takeover by Fidel Castro and his forces. He represents Florida's 25th Congressional District in southwest Miami-Dade County. His aunt was Castro's first wife.
Diaz-Balart said the Cuban people have revolted before and will need help to oust the communist dictatorship.
"It's a regime that's been there for 62 years," he said. "It continues to promise more of the same, which is this Orwellian nightmare of socialism and communism. And the Cuban people know better, and so it's up to the United States now to galvanize the entire world against that regime and in support of the Cuban people, something that I've seen this administration has been kind of weak so far in doing."
Diaz-Balart's comments come as thousands took the streets in Havana and elsewhere in Cuba on Sunday, protesting shortages of food, medicine, and other basic necessities, and chanting for "freedom."
Tear gas was used to disperse some demonstrations and protesters, who carried American flags and called for the resignation of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel.
Several were forcibly arrested as others clashed with police, overturning a patrol car and throwing rocks at officers, according to reports from the island.
Díaz-Canel blamed U.S. trade sanctions for the unrest, saying they had created economic misery.
In a Sunday address, he urged his supporters to physically confront the protesters.
"The order to combat has been given," he said at the end of his appearance. "Revolutionaries need to be on the streets."
One unidentified protester told CNN that week-long power outages "detonated" the demonstrations.
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