Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., defended the U.S. embargo to the communist nation of Cuba amid finger-pointing at the U.S. for the living conditions Cubans endure.
Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, countered this narrative last week by stating “The U.S. is the largest provider of food to #Cuba & each year sends $275 million in medicine & $3 billion in remittances to relatives.”
“The suffering in Cuba isn’t because of an embargo, it’s because socialism always leads to suffering,” Rubio added.
Cuba has flooded the media headlines since protests broke out earlier this month that are reportedly motivated by a lack of food, lack of resources, and the high rate of taxes that Cubans are paying to the communist regime.
However, popular Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, blame the U.S. embargo to Cuba for the country’s demise. Ocasio-Cortez put out a statement in a tweet confirming her support for the Cuban people but still passing blame to the United States.
“We stand in solidarity with the Cuban people and condemn the suppression of the media, speech and protest,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “We also call for an end to the U.S. embargo and additional Trump-era restrictions that are profoundly contributing to the suffering of Cubans.”
Criticizing their statements, Rubio defended the U.S. by saying, “No matter what problem there is in the world, America’s to blame for it. America’s done something wrong. They don’t know what the heck they’re talking about,” he told Fox News’ “Special Report.”
“Right now, if an independent business operator, if a small farm owner, if a consultant or independent contractor in Cuba wants to do business with Americans, they can. There’s no U.S. government restriction on that,” the congressman said. “It’s the Cuban regime that doesn’t allow it, because they want to control how much money people make every month. It’s the leverage they hold over their heads. The people who give these opinions don’t know what they’re talking about.”
The relationship between the U.S. and Cuba has been rocky since the Cold War. In 1959, Fidel Castro, along with other revolutionaries, gained power in Havana, overthrowing the U.S.-backed government of Fulgencio Batista.
In 2014, President Barack Obama loosened the rules on the Cuban regime, resulting in less restrictive travel to Cuba and on trade. However, some rules were put back into place by President Donald Trump, as he restricted the ability of Americans to visit Cuba as tourists, and prohibited the importation of Cuban cigars.
The level at which the U.S. government will become involved in Cuba’s civil unrest is still yet to be determined. According to a report by CBS News, a senior administration official stated in anonymity that “at President Biden’s direction, the United States is actively pursuing measures that will both support the Cuban people and hold the Cuban regime accountable.”
“There are various reasons why the world has not yet seen the full scope of the atrocities being committed by the regime in Cuba,” Rubio stated in a tweet. “But when the world finally gets to see a complete account of what they done to people, even the most hardened will be horrified and angry.”