On Monday, President Joe Biden expressed support for Cuban protesters following the break out of demonstrations going against its government.
“We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime,” the president said through a statement.
“The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves,” he furthered.
Cuba is suffering from severe economic hardships for decades, made even worse by the current pandemic which dragged down its main economic driver — tourism.
People in Cuba were hit by insufficient food and medicine needs and have found it hard to source basic supplies. The county was placed under an economic embargo in 1960 by the United States.
The White House is faced with a crucial political settlement with the protests. There were some lawmakers who urged the President to reverse the policies imposed under the previous administration and modify ties with Cuba like what President Barack Obama wanted to do.
But there were still some who wanted a hard approach towards Cuba.
The protests broke out as the US administration is finding means to respond to Haiti which recently lost its President Jovenel Moise in an assassination.
During his campaign for presidency, Biden vowed to reverse the policies imposed under the Trump administration, alleging that it “has done nothing to advance democracy and human rights; on the contrary, the crackdown on Cubans by the regime has gotten worse under Trump, not better,” NBC News reported.
On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the Biden administration is keeping in touch with the Cuban demonstrations. The president, however, has not yet released a signal to alter the US’ approach.