It’s Cuba Libre!, Mr. Biden

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has famously stated and recently redoubled his assessment that Joe Biden has “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” True enough. But in a notable instance, Biden and his fellow leftists are not merely wrong in their approach but willfully complicit in propping up a totalitarian regime: Communist Cuba.

As the Wall Street Journal’s perceptive Mary Anastasia O’Grady observed of Biden:

During his press conference last week President Biden was asked to comment on U.S. foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere . . . He went on to express concern about the shrinking number of democracies in the world. Yet strangely the president never mentioned the region’s heart of darkness, the 63-year-old military dictatorship in Havana. 

Cuba’s intelligence and security apparatuses direct the repression in Venezuela and Nicaragua and support the one-party state in Bolivia. Cuba is actively trying to undermine democratic institutions in Colombia, Peru and Chile. At home it uses torture, imprisonment and exile to put down dissent.

Liberty in the region can’t be secured without taking on totalitarian Havana. Mr. Biden’s failure to give priority to the task is alarming. It’s why, despite the historic July 11 uprising, the hope for a Cuba libre that welled up last summer is fading.


Due in large measure to Biden’s deliberate neglect of this locus of totalitarianism 90 miles from our shore, genocidal Communist China and other rogue governments are assisting the Cuban regime in ramping up its repression of imprisoned dissidents, whose only “crime” is demanding their God-given rights.

Unlike Biden, the purported leader of the free world, two champions of Cuban and human freedom, Rosa Maria Paya and retired Florida congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, are working to help end the plight of two Cuban freedom seekers: Felix Navarro and his daughter, Saylí.

Per Paya’s tweet: “She is Saylí Navarro. The bravest woman I have ever met. She is 35 years old. On 12/Jul/2021 she went to the police to ask about the protesters of #11J who were missing. On Monday the dictatorship will sentence her to 11 years in prison for it. @UNHumanRights @CP_OEA act!”

Diaz-Balart agrees and elaborates on the plight of father and daughter at the hands of Cuba’s communist regime: 

One of the most decent human beings I’ve ever met is Felix Navarro, an opponent of the tyranny in Perico, Matanzas. I met him back in [2014] when dissidents were allowed to travel. Honest, courageous, decent. His daughter, Sayli, is an incredible young woman in her mid-30s, the bravest woman I’ve ever met (I met her in [2015]). 

Felix was rounded up last July 11th, during the spontaneous mass protest day. Sayli went to the police station the next day to ask about him and demand his release. She did not make it out of the police station. She is still in a dungeon, as is her father. This week they are ‘on trial.’ The state is requesting an 11 year sentence for Sayli. I can only imagine how long for her father—25 years? There are close to 1,000 known July 11 demonstrators who are being detained. The ‘sentences’ have been as high as 30 years for those who have been ‘charged’ and ‘tried.’

One would have expected an American president to exert maximal diplomatic support on behalf of the Cuban people as they demanded freedom from their communist oppressors. But evidently that is a bridge too far for Biden, who, after all, was vice president when the Obama Administration sold out dissident Cuban freedom seekers and Iran’s Green revolutionaries. Even the largely ineffectual actions Biden did take were a bridge too far for the American Left, whose support for “Castroism” and a communist Cuba are now part of their growing, dominant socialist wing’s illiberal dogma.

Of course there is another reason for the Biden Administration’s silence regarding political prisoners abroad: the shocking weaponization of the federal government’s police and surveillance powers against Americans who dissent from the Left’s insane ideology. Apparently, having long envied the Cuban regime’s controlling collectivism and failed communist policies (deceitfully propagandized over the decades as “progress”), the domestic Left recognizes its only hope of inflicting similar damage upon Americans is by silencing and criminalizing dissent. If there is doubt about this, recall the Biden Department of Justice’s expansive, partisan definition of who constitutes an “anti-government extremist” and/or a “domestic terrorist.”

Consequently, giving a damn about those condemned to live on that “imprisoned island” underneath the totalitarian Communist Cuban government is not merely an act of international altruism; it is an act of self-preservation. When one is indifferent to the denial of one person’s God-given rights, eventually all God-given rights are imperiled. 

After all, we are all God’s children, regardless whether one lives in a land blessed by God or an island turned into a subsidiary of Hell by a 63-year-old communist tyranny.

Cuba Libre!

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About Thaddeus G. McCotter

An American Greatness contributor, the Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (M.C., Ret.) represented Michigan’s 11th Congressional district from 2003 to 2012 and served as Chair of the Republican House Policy Committee. Not a lobbyist, he is a frequent public speaker and moderator for public policy seminars, and a Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show" among sundry media appearances.

Photo: YAMIL LAGE/AFP via Getty Images

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