On Friday, July 30th, President Joe Biden hosted a meeting with Cuban American leaders at the White House to discuss the administration’s response to the Cuban regime’s brutal repression of peaceful protests on July 11th, 2021, and its continued persecution of dissidents and pro-democracy activists on the island since that day.
Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz, who was among those who participated in the event, has issued the following statement:
“Firstly, I would like to thank President Joe Biden and all of the administration and elected officials who participated in our meeting on Friday. I have had the privilege of attending many gatherings with presidents, governors and congressional leaders over the past four decades, yet I can hardly recall a more thorough, productive and effective encounter than this one.
“The meeting with President Biden lasted over an hour and a half, but was preceded by well over two hours of meetings with staff from the State Department and the National Security Council. We discussed a bevy of topics, from the newly imposed sanctions on Cuban regime officials and institutions directly responsible for the violent repression of peaceful protesters to providing unfettered internet access to the Cuban people. We talked about the administration’s efforts to provide humanitarian aid to assist political dissidents and prisoners, to elevate opposition leaders on the island and to galvanize international support for the Cuban people as they fight for their basic rights. We also discussed the work that is being done to safely increase staffing at the U.S. embassy in Havana and to explore any available option that would allow Cuban Americans to send remittances to family members on the island without the regime’s military taking a portion of those funds.
“I was honored to be a part of this meeting, and walked away with the clear conviction that President Biden is unwavering in his commitment to the cause of freedom and democracy in Cuba. He understands the pain felt by Cubans both inside and outside the island, and is leading a strong whole-of-government effort to hold the Cuban regime accountable while boldly championing the democratic aspirations of the Cuban people.”