Former Trump NSC official: Biden should let Cubans into U.S., restore their internet access

Former Trump administration NSC chief of staff Fred Fleitz criticized the Biden administration for denying Cubans entrance to the U.S. while letting illegal immigrants cross the southern border.

Updated: July 20, 2021 - 11:02pm

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The Biden State Department must clearly stand with Cubans against their oppressive government and let them enter the United States, Fred Fleitz, National Security Council chief of staff under former President Trump, said Monday. 

"We have to clearly stand for the oppressed people of Cuba, make no mistake about that — very strong sanctions on the government," Fleitz told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Monday. "And we have to help restore the internet."

The Cuban government has shut off internet access, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote a letter to President Biden on Wednesday to request the U.S. government assist the Cuban people by providing internet access. Biden said Thursday in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that his administration is "considering whether we have the technological ability to reinstate that access," according to The Hill

Fleitz referenced a Wall Street Journal editorial suggesting the U.S. use "high-altitude balloons that float in international airspace" which Google had created to provide "mobile internet coverage over more than 4,000 square miles."

He suggested another alternative involving ships that "could help the people learn what's going on outside the country," adding that the U.S. "government could easily fix this."

"[S]trong American leadership, speaking out on behalf of the Cuban people" and telling them, "'You're welcome to come here,' that would do a lot," Fleitz said. "Isn't it appalling that we have said to the Cuban people, 'You're not welcome here, we'll send you back?' They have to swim to Mexico and come in over the Texas border. If they come in by water into Florida, they won't be accepted. It's unbelievable."

Rafael Cruz, a Cuban immigrant and father of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), said he is "encouraged that people in Cuba will not get intimidated and will not cower because they are beaten, but that more and more people will take to the streets. And that we will see a positive change in Cuba."

He told the John Solomon Reports podcast that Cubans should "stay in the street" and try disrupting the Cuban government's communications so they “cannot coordinate their efforts against them."

However, as Cubans protest against their communist government, Cruz warned of what "really concerns" him — Marxism in the White House. 

"What we have in the White House today is a Marxist regime," he said. "They want to impose Marxism upon America, and I am really, really concerned, but encouraged at the same time, because I think that they have overplayed their hand. And I think that more and more Americans are waking up to the fact that this is not a utopia that they're promising. This is the usurpation of all our rights and freedoms as Americans."

Cruz cited as examples the Democrat-sponsored For the People Act of 2021, which federalizes elections, and Critical Race Theory being taught in schools. Still, he said, he is encouraged to see parents pushing back against Critical Race Theory at the school board level and a surge in attendance at Republican clubs. 

"People are getting engaged, because they are realizing that we are losing our freedom," he said.

Cruz criticized Biden and the Democrats for encouraging illegal immigrants to cross America's southern border while not allowing Cubans fleeing communism to enter the U.S. He said that they believe the illegal immigrants will vote Democrat, but that Cubans usually vote Republican "because they have seen communism firsthand."  

Cruz recalled something he has often told his son. "When I lost my freedom in Cuba, I had a place to come to," he said. "If we lose our freedoms here, where are we going to go?' ... There is no place to go. This is our last stand."

Gelet Fragela, a Cuban immigrant and the founder and director of the news site ADN Cuba, told the John Solomon Reports podcast that, contrary to the left's narrative, the protests in Cuba are not the result of American embargoes. 

"This idea that the embargo has caused this, that is just completely untrue," said Fragela.

"First of all," she said, "the embargo doesn't include medicine, the embargo doesn't include food. Cuba has rejected humanitarian assistance many times. Cuba's rejected vaccines many times just because they don't really care."

Charging that Cuba has sent 30,000 of its doctors overseas "in a way that is a modern form of forced slavery," Fragela said, "No wonder the medical system collapses inside the island — because the island doesn't have doctors."

Fragela explained that the purpose of Cuba sending those doctors is for propaganda and money "because while [the doctors] get paid, [the regime takes] 90% of those doctors' pay, they take their passports, they even control who they can date, who they can see, who they can talk [to]."

She noted that Cubans "are waking up," partly due to exposure to the outside world through the internet, as well as artists who have "had enough" of limitations placed on their freedom of expression. 

"I think the United States needs to have a stronger response to Cuba," Fragela said. "It can't just be to work out the internet and send a statement — it needs to have a stronger response internationally with their allies."

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