Two freshman Republican members of Congress on Monday slammed Democrats for their failure to take stances against the Cuban regime and the rising crime rate in America.
Reps. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., and Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., appeared Monday on Newsmax's "Spicer & Co." to discuss the two hot-button issues.
Asked by host Sean Spicer about a statement from President Joe Biden on protests by the Cuban people over the weekend against the communist government, Gimenez said, it's hard to tell exactly what the president himself actually thinks, since White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that the official statement on the issue was put out in Biden's "voice."
"I think somebody prepared it for him and put it out," Gimenez said. "I don't know what the president's sentiments are on this. The statements that have been attributed to him are rather disturbing. … They don't mention communism. They don't mention socialism."
Biden's statements, "kind of allude to COVID and food shortages," Gimenez said, noting that the protesters actually were protesting for freedom — not over food shortages or the mishandling of the COVID crisis.
"Well, the people in Cuba aren't saying 'comida,' which means food. They're not saying COVID,'" he said. "They're shouting, 'Libertad! Libertad! Libertad!' which means freedom, freedom, freedom from 60 years of oppression, 60 years of a brutal regime, 60 years of communism that brings misery to all."
Gimenez is a refugee from Cuba, along with his family, and Malliotakis' mother is a Cuban refugee as well.
"The reason why there are food shortages is because the people there are starving, and they're starving because the communist and socialist policies do not work, Malliotakis said. "They have been living under oppression for six decades. The people there want freedom. They want democracy. They want free and fair elections. They want human rights."
Far-left Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., have been silent on the protests, she said, because they have pushed places like Cuba as a socialist utopia.
"I have relatives that are seeking basic medications," in Cuba," she said. "Things like aspirin they don't even have access to. When you look at Bernie Sanders and his fight for $15 minimum wage. Well, in Cuba, they make $15 a month. And yet Bernie Sanders AOC, the entire Squad, they've been silent."
Turning to the issue of crime, Gimenez, who was Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Fla., during the nationwide protests of 2020 following the death of George Floyd, said he ensured that his city did not see the amount of rioting that other cities did because he enforced a strict 9 p.m. curfew on protesters.
"I made it very clear that we were going to protect the demonstrators. But they weren't going to be allowed to riot and burn and steal and loot," he said. "You saw a little bit of the violence on the first day. They tried us, and then they found out that we weren't budging. Pretty soon, a lot of the instigators, they went somewhere else."
Malliotakis again called out her fellow New Yorker, Ocasio-Cortez, and other Democrats on the crime issue, alluding to the fact that Democrats want to replace funds for police with social workers.
"They want to defund the police. They don't want the police in our subway system," She said. "And yet (AOC) is walking around with private security. … You know, why doesn't she walk around with a bunch of therapists?"
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