President Biden is “like a deer in the headlights when it comes to standing up to oppression,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) claimed Tuesday night while discussing the ongoing unrest in Cuba.
“Freedom needs you now, President Biden,” Graham said on Fox News’ “Hannity”. “The people of Cuba need you to speak up. You should go on television very soon and say, ‘We stand with your right to demand freedom in Cuba, in our backyard. We’re with you, we stand against the regime that’s putting people in jail and snatching them off the streets.’
“This is a moment for Joe Biden to stand up for freedom in the face of oppression and communism and thus far he’s AWOL,” Graham added.
While protesters initially took to the streets of Havana and other cities on the island Sunday, Biden did not make a statement about the demonstrations until Monday.
“We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime,” the president said. “The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights. Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected. The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves.”
On Tuesday, Graham said he would be introducing legislation to step up sanctions against the Havana regime and called on the White House to consider cyberattacks.
“I would send a signal to the Cuban government that we’re not going to sit on the sidelines as you destroy people in our backyard, and we need to give voice to freedom. America is the symbol of freedom to most everybody in the world,” the lawmaker said. “To President Biden, where are you when the people of Cuba need you the most?”
Graham also criticized left-wing members of Congress, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who have either remained silent about the protests or — in Sanders’ case — called on the US to end its embargo of the island.
“America’s with the people in Cuba. The ‘Squad’ is not America,” he said. “Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist. I like him personally, but Castro has their tongue. They actually admire the Castro model in Cuba. The problem is that the ‘Squad’ can’t speak up against Communism and socialism because that’s sort of where they want to take our country.
“This is yet another reason why we’ll [Republicans will] do well in 2022,” Graham added.
Late Tuesday, the Cuban government confirmed that a 36-year-old man had died the previous day during a clash between protesters and police in the Arroyo Naranjo municipality on the outskirts of Havana. It added that an unspecified number of people were arrested and injured.
However, outside observers say that far more people have been killed by state security forces in retaliation for taking part in the protests.
“We should declare Communism dead in our hemisphere,” Graham said. “We should stand up to it at every opportunity. There’s an opening here to destroy communism in our backyard. President Biden, take it. History will be on your side.”
With Post Wires