President Joe Biden's administration "says the right things, but then does quite the opposite" when it comes to the Cuban government's regime, including with the president's nomination of Florida International University professor Frank Mora as the new ambassador to the Organization of American States, Rep. Carlos Gimenez said Friday on Newsmax.
"He's well known down here," the Florida Republican said on Newsmax's 'Wake Up America" about Mora. "He launched a dialogue with the regime. He wants to lift sanctions."
Mora has also been meeting with Cuban leaders, but has not met with Florida's leaders of Cuban descent, said Gimenez, who was born in Cuba.
"He does meet with those who do want more open dialogue with the regime and negotiations with the regime, and the people of Cuba don't want any of it," said Gimenez. "What they want is freedom."
Meanwhile, the recent demonstrations in Cuba were the first to happen in more than 60 years, said Gimenez.
"You had about 45 demonstrations happen spontaneously on the island on the same day, and it continued until the regime crushed it, for the most part through very brutal, brutal methods," said Gimenez. "The regime knows how to how to restore in their mind, order. They also don't know how to restore fear, because that's the only thing that's keeping the regime in power is fear."
But people around the island are "maybe, just maybe" starting to lose their fear, he added.
Mora's nomination also is a "clear signal" of where Biden wants to go where Cuba is concerned, as are the people the president has met with at the White House and those who advise him. "The people that surround him and advise him on the Western Hemisphere and Cuba have all been really soft liners, Obama-era kind of folks," said the lawmaker.
However, the issue moves beyond the Cuban regime, and includes the entire Western Hemisphere, including Venezuela and Nicaragua, Gimenez added.
"The Western hemisphere is our backyard," he said. "We're allowing the Russians, we're allowing the Chinese to have undue influence here in our hemisphere. We're allowing the Cubans to spread their brand their Communist ideology throughout the Western Hemisphere. If we don't watch out, we're gonna be surrounded by Socialist and Communist nations that want to do us harm. That's why it's in our national interest to stamp out the cancer that is Cuba."
Peru is also a concern, said Gimenez, as its new president, Pedro Castillo, "is definitely a Communist ... these dictators they use democracy against itself. They use democracy to get into power. Then they used the laws, et cetera to change the constitution so that basically they'll be in power forever."
He also commented on the COVID-19 situation in Florida, which has expanded in recent weeks because of the Delta variant of the disease.
Gimenez said he believes Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis "has handled the coronavirus pandemic extraordinarily well here in the state of Florida," and the emphasis is being made on vaccination.
"The numbers are pretty clear, if you're vaccinated, the odds are you're not going to end up in the hospital. The odds are pretty small that you're going to die, so we want everybody to get vaccinated and we need to move forward."
Gimenez said he believes, though, that there will be "just as rapid a decline" in Florida with Delta infections "because we have a high number of people have been vaccinated."
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