Gov. Ron DeSantis, Rep. Kevin McCarthy call for end of Cuban regime

Republican lawmakers gather in Hialeah Gardens to stand with people of Cuba
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks as Rep. Kevin McCarthy listens during news conference in Hialeah Gardens, Aug. 5, 2021
Posted at 10:37 AM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 15:23:54-04

HIALEAH GARDENS, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was joined by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republican lawmakers Thursday afternoon to discuss U.S. relations with Cuba.

They spoke at the Hialeah Gardens Museum Honoring Assault Brigade 250.

DeSantis was joined by Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Rep. Carlos Gimenez, Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, House Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Mike McCaul, Rep. Mark Green and Rep. Victoria Spartz.

The Republican lawmakers discussed the ongoing crisis in Cuba and made pleas to the White House.

DeSantis demanded that President Joe Biden's administration intervene and help restore Internet access to Cuba as unrest and anti-government protests unfold on the island nation.

"We need to stand with the people of Cuba," DeSantis said. "A free Cuba would be in the interest of the United States of America. I mean, if you want influence of the Communist Party of China in the western hemisphere and Russia, then support the regime in Havana, because they want every nefarious influence around the world comes through there. If you want no Chinese influence, you don't want Russian influence, then you should want to free Cuba."

Cubans, who are facing the country's worst economic crisis in decades, took to the streets last month, protesting more than 60 years of dictatorial rule that's led to severe shortages of food, water, medicine and other essential needs.

McCarthy sent a message to Biden to act.

"Mr. President, we've requested a meeting. Why? Because if you can't come up with ideas, we have them," McCarthy said. "We can tell you the solutions. We will stand with you if you will act. But we will not sit back to your silence to those who crave freedom. We will lead the charge. And that's why we're here."