The growing protests in Cuba and the calls for freedom from the regime there are not only an issue for that country but could affect the rest of this hemisphere, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told Newsmax Monday.
"This is a national security issue for our hemisphere and the United States," the Florida Republican told Newsmax's John Bachman. "Cuba is a state sponsor of terror and (is involved) in the trafficking of drugs. Cuba is the main exporter of the communist ideology not just through this hemisphere, but across the globe. They've been in Angola; they've been in Afghanistan."
This moment in time is important, Suarez added, because it could "lead to the freedom of the Venezuelan people, the freedom of the Nicaraguan people."
"That's why there's so much palpable energy surrounding because there's a sense that this could be the end of communism in this hemisphere," said Suarez. "We as a country have a strategic national interest in seeing that happens. "
Over the weekend, Suarez called for international intervention led by the United States "to protect the Cuban people from a bloodbath" because of the protests, reports Miami NBC affiliate WTVJ.
"Cubans are worthy and ready to rule themselves without tyranny," Suarez said at a news conference. "It can end today and it must end today. The implications of this moment can mean freedom for millions of people in the hemisphere, from Nicaraguans and Venezuelans and so many more."
The White House initially said the protests are, in part, because of the lack of COVID-19 vaccines on the island, but Suarez said Monday he agrees with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., that COVID is "the icing on the cake."
"It is simply the catalyst that sparked this," Suarez told Newsmax. "The Cuban people understand this. They are under an imminent threat to their lives, every day, speaking out, and they have come out in tens of thousands, spontaneously in 14 different cities, to speak out against the government. That has never happened in a 60-year history of Cuba, and the United States has to support that effort by more than just statements."
The push for Cuba's freedom is being felt strongly in Miami, with its strong Cuban heritage and traditions.
Suarez said on Twitter this weekend, after protesters in Miami hit the streets, that he has "never felt such raw emotion from the people of Miami desperate for intervention by the government and by themselves on behalf of Cuba. This is the moment for freedom in Cuba. IT CANNOT WAIT ANY LONGER!"
Suarez is the son of Xavier Louis Suarez, the first Cuban-born mayor of Miami, and himself was born in Miami.
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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