A mere 90 miles from Florida's coast, the people of Cuba, who have been under the boot of a communist regime for over six decades, are crying out for freedom. For weeks, Cubans fed up with chronic food and medicine shortages and inflated prices brought on by their communist government, have held public demonstrations across the country. The brutal dictatorial government responded by lashing out against its own people with hundreds of arbitrary arrests and public beatings (including journalists), the disappearance of many demonstrators, and a nationwide internet outage.
Understandably, many Cubans are desperately trying to flee the dictatorship for the shores of freedom 90 miles away and claim refugee status. So what is the Biden administration's response to these freedom seekers? "Allow me to be clear: if you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (whose own family fled Cuba for the U.S. when he was a child) said, just days after the Cuban demonstrations began.
It's a puzzling response, as Congressman August Pfluger (R-Texas) made clear on "Washington Watch," especially in light of the open-door policy that the Biden administration has on our southern border with Mexico.
"You see the American flags that are being waved in the streets of Havana and throughout Cuba and they're screaming 'Libertad!'," he said. "They're not asking for anything other than liberty, for freedom, the same things that this country was founded on ... [T]hen you see this willingness by the administration to open up our southern border and to do nothing. We have record numbers of illegal immigrants who have entered this country, the drugs, the violence, the crime, the trafficking. These are real issues. And so the hypocrisy is just beyond me -- why we can't address the security, but yet we still can't help those who are in need, who want liberty."
As Pfluger pointed out, it's a double standard that is becoming increasingly dangerous, not only for Cubans but for farmers and ranchers along the southern border who are having their property trespassed on and destroyed.
"I've spoken to many ranchers, many farmers who are in border counties -- they've got issues [that have] been going on for quite a while," he said. "But the numbers that we're seeing this year, again, over a million [border crossers] with two million expected, the fence lines are being damaged. Houses have actually been burned down. I had ranchers in here last week who showed me footage from their own game cameras. These are game cameras used for hunting and other things. And one day they counted over 20 folks who were dressed in military-style clothing who were crawling over the fences or cutting their way through the fences, which when you think about that, you have livestock, cattle who are getting out and vehicles are being stolen."
Meanwhile, thousands of Cuban-Americans, many of whom still have family members living in Cuba, flooded Washington, D.C. over the weekend demanding that the Biden administration put more pressure on the Cuban government. Curiously, while seven Republican congressmen came to speak in support of the protestors, no Democrats bothered to show up.