A former Democratic congresswoman from Florida responded to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York – after the latter claimed the United States and its trade embargo “contributed” to Cuban civilians suffering for 62 years under the Communist regime of the Castros and the regime’s current heir Miguel Diaz-Canel.
Former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, whose Florida Keys district flipped Republican when ex-Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez defeated her in 2020, told “Your World” there is one sole entity to blame for Cuban unrest and suppression of rights.
“What we’re seeing in Cuba we haven’t seen in over 62 years,” she said, citing the 1959 overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista by Fidel Castro’s revolutionaries.
“Cubans young and old are marching in the streets demanding freedom. The only government to blame here, the only culprit of what has been happening in Cuba — is the Cuban government which has been a dictatorship; a failed Communist regime which has violated human rights for decades.”
Mucarsel-Powell said she like many other Miamians knows numerous people in the area who have fled the Cuban regime, as well as others who have family members on the island – only 90 miles south of Key West – whom Castro unjustly imprisoned.
“They’re marching, demanding freedom and justice. It defeats the purpose. We have to be unified in this effort. It should not be political,” she said.
Mucarsel-Powell praised her fellow South Florida lawmaker, Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar of Miami Beach, for calling on Democrats and Republicans to unite against Diaz-Canel’s regime and its treatment of civilians.
But, she also claimed that former President Donald Trump made the Cuban situation worse by “unilaterally” – in a global pretext – take economic action against the island nation, which she suggested had failed because pressure against the regime will be insufficient without other partner nations’ support.
“We need to work multilaterally with our allies in Latin America, in Europe to put pressure on the regime. The dictatorship has to end,” she said.
Host Neil Cavuto however noted that former President James E. Carter tried to make a push for Cubans to seek asylum in the U.S. – and was instead subjected to Fidel Castro “pulling a fast one” by emptying the jails and assenting to a “flotilla” of unvetted individuals that caused trouble for South Florida.
“Who is to say [Diaz-Canel] won’t pull a stunt like that?” he asked.
“This is a unique moment,” replied Mucarsel-Powell. “What we’re seeing is historic. That’s why there’s an opportunity to make a change.”
“Let’s not politicize this. Let’s come together. I agree with the comments that Maria had to make to me coming on. I think it’s great to hear that [Salazar] wants to work with the president. Let’s do that… Cubans are asking for our support,” she said.
“What we can’t do is blame anyone except the Communist regime that has been a failed government in Cuba.”
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