HIALEAH GARDENS, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis joined House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and other representatives in calling on the Biden administration to support Cuba during a news conference in Hialeah Gardens, outside of Miami, on Thursday.
The news conference took place at the Assault Brigade 2506 Honorary Museum, which honors the efforts made during the Bay of Pigs invasion. Other people who joined the governor and McCarthy included Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Congressman Carlos Gimenez, Congresswoman Maria Salazar, House Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Mike McCaul (R-Texas), Congressman Mark Green (R-Tennessee), and Congresswoman Victoria Spartz (R-Indiana).
The representatives called for action from President Joe Biden and his administration, saying it is a critical time in Cuba’s history. Thousands of people poured into the streets in Cuba last month in the largest anti-government protest in decades, rallying against the country’s economic situation, COVID-19 response and a lack of freedom.
“We are now in a situation, maybe for the first time since then, where you have a real shot to have change, to have freedom sweep the island. You have people who are being very brave, that are out on the street knowing the risks that they’re facing,” DeSantis said during the news conference. The governor also reiterated last month’s efforts calling on the White House to preserve internet service to antigovernment protesters in Cuba.
This news conference follows the governor’s roundtable with state hospital CEOs Wednesday morning discussing the COVID-19 surge in cases and hospitalizations. A common refrain among those on the governor’s roundtable was that between 95% and 99% of the patients being treated throughout their hospital systems are not vaccinated.
Thursday’s news conference also comes after DeSantis pushed back against President Joe Biden’s comments to Republican leaders, including DeSantis, about their response to the COVID-19 surge and that they should “get out of the way” of vaccine rules that are aimed to help contain the coronavirus delta variant.
“If you’re coming after the rights of parents in Florida, I’m standing in your way. I’m not going to let you get away with it,” DeSantis said during Wednesday afternoon’s press conference. “If you’re trying to deny kids a proper in-person education, I’m going to stand in your way.”