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Cuba’s president vows to fight as uprising turns bloody, Biden faces calls to send US troops

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Cubans took to the streets by the thousands in Havana and other cities over the weekend, chanting “Libertad!”

The protests are the biggest in decades as people openly voiced anger and frustration, calling for the end of the decades-old communist dictatorship amid critical shortages of food and other basic necessities, to include COVID-19 vaccines.

With throngs of Cuban-Americans taking to the streets in South Miami in a strong show of support, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel responded to the demand for freedom by calling on “revolutionary” citizens to counter the protesters, according to Fox News.

Diaz-Canel, who also heads the Communist Party, blamed the U.S. for stoking the anger while addressing the country, vowing to fight in the streets.

“We are not going to hand over the sovereignty or the independence of the people,” he declared. “There are many revolutionaries in this country who are willing to give our lives. We are prepared to do anything. We will be battling in the streets.”

Photos and video footage of the mass protests are being shared online, along with the hashtag #SOSCuba, as seen from U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar, R-Fla.

Biden administration officials took to social media to denounce any violence from the communist regime, as images of violence are seen online and authorities arrest some protesters.

“The U.S. supports freedom of expression and assembly across Cuba, and would strongly condemn any violence or targeting of peaceful protesters who are exercising their universal rights,” tweeted Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser.

In addition to Havana, protests broke out in  Santiago, Santa Clara, Matanzas, Cienfuegos, and Holguín, the Tampa Bay Times reported, as well as in smaller towns like Palma Soriano, Cárdenas, Colón, Guira de Melena, and Artemisa.

The irony being that as the liberals in the United States denounce the American flag, an issue that radical left ex-NFL player Colin Kaepernick popularized, people around the world continue to see the flag as a beacon of freedom as seen in Cuba on Sunday.

The newspaper noted that the last time Cubans took to the streets to protest against the communist government was in 1994 when Fidel Castro was alive.

“But the uprising, known as the Maleconazo, only took place in Havana and didn’t last long, as the former Cuban leader quickly turned the demonstrations into a massive exodus after he opened Cuba’s maritime borders,” the Times reported. “Thousands of Cubans left the island in makeshift boats and rickety rafts, in what became known as the balsero crisis.”

Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades, and is facing a shortage of vaccines while facing a COVID-19 surge, reportedly choosing to produce its own vaccine instead of seeking help from other countries.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez gathered with hundreds of demonstrators outside the famous Cuban Versailles restaurant in the Little Havana section of Miami, to call on the Biden administration to send troops to the island amid the unrest “to protect the Cuban people from a bloodbath.”

“Cubans are worthy and ready to rule themselves without tyranny,” Suarez said at a news conference, NBC Miami reported.

“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 mayor added.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., whose parents fled Cuba before Castro assumed power, shared videos online of what he called “heavily armed socialist shock troops,” tagging President Joe Biden as he warned the regime “is willing to murder unarmed people to stay in power.”

Rubio warned that Cuba will block internet and cell phone service to prevent videos about what is happening from getting out to the world.

There are also reports that authorities are targeting journalists who are reporting on the uprising.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla, responded to events by calling on the White House to “quickly denounce any detention or violence toward peaceful protestors in Cuba.

“The world is watching. #SOSCuba,” he added

Salazar joined with fellow Florida GOP Reps. Carlos A. Gimenez and Mario Diaz-Balart to call on the U.S. and the international community to stand with the Cuban people.

“Now more than ever, the United States and the international community must support the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom,” the joint statement read. “The humanitarian crisis Cuba faces right now is yet another symptom of the incompetence and absolute cruelty of the Cuban tyranny. We know what freedom means for the Cuban people, and now, while the regime uses savage violence against the people peacefully demonstrating in the streets, the world has the obligation to stand with the brave Cuban people.”

And make no mistake, the regime’s violent response is already underway:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, also took to Twitter in a definitive show of support, sharing dramatic footage of the protests underway.

“The Communist Cuban regime will be consigned to the dustbin of history. It has brutalized & denied freedom to generations of Cubans, and forced my family & so many others to flee,” the senator tweeted. “The American people stand squarely with the men & women of Cuba and their noble fight for liberty.”

Here are some other tweets of events taking place in Cuba, beginning with a post from Gov. Ron DeSantis ensuring Cubans that Florida supports their efforts:

Tom Tillison

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