Congressional Republicans back Cubans' call for change in government, flood social media with posts

The social media posts include videos of street protests, messages in Cuban Spanish.

Updated: July 12, 2021 - 1:13pm

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GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and others in the Republican congressional delegation are voicing their support for the thousands of Cubans now protesting in the streets against their communist government and calling upon the White House to support the effort. 

"The Communist Cuban regime will be consigned to the dustbin of history," Cruz, of Cuban ancestry, tweeted Sunday night as the street protests began. "It has brutalized & denied freedom to generations of Cubans, and forced my family & so many others to flee. The American people stand squarely with the men & women of Cuba and their noble fight for liberty."

Other Capitol Hill Republicans supporting the street protests include fellow Sen. Marco Rubio, whose parents immigrated from Cuba, and Reps. Nicole Malliotakis, of New York.

The protests largely center on concerns about food shortages, medical care and other basic economic, everyday-life issues, exacerbated by the Cuban government's mishandling of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We have NEVER seen a day like today in #Cuba 62 years of misery, repression & lies boiling over into organic, grassroots protests in over 32 cities #SOSCuba #PatriaYVida," Rubio said in more than a dozen tweets, many in Cuban Spanish, over roughly the past 18 hours.

Rep. Val Demings, who is running for the Democratic nomination to oppose Rubio in the high-profile Florida Senate race in 2022, urged support of the protesters in a tweet Sunday night: "America stands for freedom. We must stand with the peaceful demonstrators in Cuba as they struggle for theirs – not only freedom from tyranny and dictatorship, but freedom from disease, poverty, and corruption."

President Biden on Monday morning declared his support of the Cuban protests, amid calls for him to do so.

The declining situation in Cuba has resulted in a sharp increase in attempts by residents to enter the U.S. The Coast Guard has reportedly intercepted 512 boats since October, compared to 49 in all of 2020.