Police arrest protesters outside the Cuban capital during the July 11 protests in Havana. Photo: Ernesto Mastrascusa / Agência EFE / Gazeta do Povo

The Cuban people stood up on Sunday (11) and took to the streets to demand freedom and the end of 62 years of communist oppression. Thousands of people took part in unprecedented protests in at least a dozen towns on the island.

The term “historical” is used so much that it has become a cliché, but this time it applies perfectly. This is the first time in 62 years of tyrannical rule that this has happened, and it is time for the long-suffering Cuban people to receive what they ask for.

The Cuban people, just 145 kilometers from the American coast, deserve the full support of the United States. At the very least, the Biden government must do nothing to throw a lifeline to Havana socialists like Juan S. Gonzalez, special assistant to the president and senior director of the National Security Council for the Western Hemisphere, the recently announced on CNN in Spanish, when he said that measures to warm up relations between Havana and Washington were about to take place. Now would hardly be the time to take these measures.

In addition, President Joe Biden must make it clear to Miguel Diaz-Canel, the puppet president who has been the front of the Castro family since the resignation of dictator Raúl Castro in 2018, that the United States will not accept the ban. implied pro voices. freedom through flotillas of refugees, as the Castros did. Biden must immediately turn to the United States, the Cuban people, and the world, and demand the restoration of freedom to Cuba.

He must also unequivocally warn Diaz-Canel against this path, which will endanger the lives of thousands of Cubans and further consolidate the power of the regime.

The situation in Cuba from Sunday evening to Monday seemed dire. Diaz-Canel went on the radio on Sunday and called on “all Communists” to leave their homes and crush the protests. We learned that the tape had been shown at least three times on Cuban television at dusk.

Special policemen were seen arresting protesters. In Camaguey province, pro-democracy priest Father Castor Alvarez de Besa was beaten by police, dissident forces told the Heritage Foundation. Its whereabouts remain unknown.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez tweeted Sunday: “Cuban regime military police are shooting at unarmed Cuban protesters fighting for freedom. Sixty years of communism, cruelty and oppression cannot last! “.

The Cuban government is also one of the main destabilizing forces in the Western Hemisphere. He supports the dictatorships of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.

The immediate causes of the revolt are difficult to identify at the moment. However, the dismal and incorrect treatment by the socialist government of the Covid-19 pandemic appears to be one of the main causes. The death rate is increasing, even if this is by Cuba’s own statistics, which are never reliable. This contradicts two left-wing claims, which are related.

The first is that totalitarian governments are better equipped to deal with pandemics than liberal democracies like the United States. Another – often repeated by socialist politicians like Senator Bernie Sanders – is that Cuba’s socialist government has a spectacular health care system.

Neither is obviously true. Socialism remains perfect on one point – it fails everywhere. This is why the Cuban people are protesting.

The Cuban people are friends with the United States. They fought in our War of Independence, taking part under the Spanish flag in the Battles of Baton Rouge and Pensacola, and raising funds for the war effort against Britain. Over 100 years later, we returned the favor and helped them liberate themselves from Spain in the Spanish-American War of 1898.

Cuban Americans contribute to the success of the United States every day and are part of the leadership of the government, as Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have demonstrated.

The struggle of the Cuban people in July reminds us once again that we must overcome the effort to install Marxism in the free world, especially in our schools and workplaces. The best way for us to help the Cuban people is to remain free and say with them: “Long live a free Cuba!

James Carafano, a leading expert on national security and foreign policy challenges, is the Heritage Foundation’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies. Mike Gonzalez, senior member of The Heritage Foundation, is an international correspondent and commentator.

© 2021 The Daily Signal. Posted with permission. Original in English.