Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., sent a message to Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel while appearing Tuesday on ''American Agenda": You cannot fire on your own people.
''We stand with the people of Cuba who are fighting for rights, who are fighting for freedom, who were tired of 62 years of a dictator, and we will continue to support them in their effort,'' Blackburn said. ''The Biden administration needs to come out. They need to draw a line in the sand. They need to make certain that the Cuban president understands you cannot fire on your people.''
Large numbers of police were dispatched to the streets of Havana, the capital, days after thousands of Cubans took to the streets in cities throughout the communist island nation to protest the regime, shouting ''freedom'' and some waving American flags, NBC News reported Tuesday.
Diaz-Canel blamed the protests on U.S. sanctions, which he called ''politics of asphyxiation.''
The massive demonstrations are rare in the country, which was ruled by Fidel Castro for decades, and Diaz-Canel announced that he had ordered the army to fight the protesters.
''The order to fight has been given,'' he said in the report.
Blackburn said it was ''interesting'' how silent many left-wing lawmakers, especially Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and self-proclaimed democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have been since the protests erupted Sunday.
''They are silent on this in supporting the people of Cuba,'' she said. ''I have supported the people of China as they have stood against the Chinese Communist Party, the Hong Kong freedom fighters as they have fought back, and likewise, we are supporting the people of Cuba as they push for freedom. ... We need to remember: Cuba is 90 miles off the coast of Florida, and we have people in the streets in Cuba, and many Cuban Americans are cheering for them to push for freedom.''
Even though the Cuban regime cut off internet access, a platform that was paid for with money from the U.S. gave access to more than 146,000 Cubans, so the world could see what was happening there during the protests, she said.
''It is important for them [Cuban leaders] to realize you cannot open fire on your people,'' she said. ''And this protest is going to carry out. We hope that it leads Cuba to democracy and to freedom, and that finally after 62 years of abusive, dictatorial regimes, they will finally be able to be a free and open society.''
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