Over the summer, democracy protests broke out in the communist island nation, as hundreds demonstrated against shortages, rationing and an “abusive, despotic Goliath [in the Cuban government] who crushes his own citizens, walks in military boots, and wants to crush every citizen who does not think like them,” said Cuban dissident playwriter Yunior García, according to the Miami Herald.
Wow 40 Democrats vote against a simple Resolution expressing solidarity with protestors for Democracy in Cuba.
If 40 democrats elected have a problem with condemning a totalitarian socialist regime a few miles off our coast, just imagine what they’re pushing for in America. https://t.co/KtrVymwOIE
— Daniel Di Martino ???? (@DanielDiMartino) November 4, 2021
The protests resulted in over 800 detentions according to reports published by Reuters, including 10 whose whereabouts were unaccounted for in August.
All six progressive “Squad” members — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,( D-N.Y.); Ilhan Omar, (D-Minn.); Ayanna Pressley, (D-Mass.); Rashida Tlaib, (D-Minn.); Jamaal Bowman, (D-N.Y.); and Cori Bush, (D-Mo.) — voted against the resolution, along with 36 other Democrats.
The House resolution called for, among other things, the end to censorship in Cuba, the release of 150 prisoners detained before last summer and the release of 400 additional people arrested or “disappeared” since then, along with permission from the government for further protests.
Both the U.S. and the E.U. are considering ways in which they can support the protesters, who say they are organizing a protest for November 15 to coincide with a National Defense Day declared by the Cuban communist government on November 20, according to the Herald.
Because of the spread of social media, organizers are hoping that these protests are different from previous protests.
“It’s not that there were not similar actions before,” García told the Herald. “We have the precedent of the Varela Project and other things dissidents did, but this can now be done with massive support.
“The use of social media,” he said, “has created a different reality.”
The resolution, titled Expressing solidarity with Cuban citizens demonstrating peacefully for fundamental freedoms, condemning the Cuban regime’s acts of repression, and calling for the immediate release of arbitrarily detained Cuban citizens, passed 382 yeas to 40 nays with 4 voting present.