Cubans are holding the largest anti-government rallies in decades. American media coverage has been near zero. Everyone knows that President Biden's hollow platitudes are utterly meaningless. Pictured: Cuban-Americans march from the White House to the Cuban Embassy on 16th Street during the "Cuban Freedom March" on July 26, 2021 in Washington, DC, urging the U.S. government to intervene in Cuba to support human rights and end communist rule there. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
"Elections? What for?"
— Fidel Castro, January 1960
"The United States stands with the brave Cubans who have taken to the streets to oppose 62 years of repression under a communist regime."
— President Biden, July 22, 2021
Take a look at the opening quotes to this essay, pause, and think about them. There is a long litany of American miscalculations, cowardice, gamesmanship, indifference, condescension, and exploitation centered on Cuba, the Cuban people, and Cuban-Americans. It has been a bipartisan problem for decades, with a lot of American political rhetoric; one double-crossed, failed invasion attempt; and brutal communist intransigence.
Everyone knows that President Biden's hollow platitudes are utterly meaningless. "The United States stands with..." what, exactly, does that mean? What does "stands with" look like? Has Biden dispatched operational detachments from 7th Special Forces Group to parachute into Cuba, raise and train a partisan army to overthrow the Communist government, and establish a democratic republic? No? Why not? For that matter, why did President Trump fail to do that in Venezuela to Maduro? So much for the modern application of the Monroe Doctrine and the "American" Hemisphere.
Back to Biden: Here is the ugly truth: Biden does not care a damn about the Cuban people throwing off 60+ years of communism. Cubans are holding the largest anti-government rallies in decades. American media coverage has been near zero. Half of Biden's White House staff probably does not understand what the president means by "repression," admires Fidel and Raul Castro, and can be found wearing Che Guevara T-shirts on the weekends. Vice President Harris is virtually a Marxist, so it must be disturbing to the White House when the Communist pet project, 90 miles off the U.S. coast, fails to supply basic services to its citizens and limps along as a failed state barely above Haiti.
Here is the real tragedy: JFK went through the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban missile crisis. No American president since then has done anything more than issue empty promises or threats about overthrowing the brutality of the Castro brothers and their successors.
Eugenio de Sosa Chabau was publisher of the oldest Spanish language newspaper in the Western Hemisphere, Diario de la Marina, in his native Cuba, when he was imprisoned and tortured for two decades simply for opposing Castro's communist regime.
De Sosa Chabau's wealthy, prominent family and his upbringing included his friendship with classmate John Fitzgerald Kennedy, another member of the Class of 1935 at the exclusive Choate School in Connecticut.
De Sosa Chabau's friendship with Kennedy, and his success smuggling an early warning out of prison to the U.S. government concerning the deployment of Russian missiles in Cuba, would earn him prolonged physical and psychological torture. Throughout his 20-year sentence, de Sosa Chabau was tortured in various prisons throughout the island, including the notorious Isle of Pines and later at the Mazorra Psychiatric Hospital outside of Havana.
His punishment included frequent beatings by prison guards, electric shocks to his head and genitals, as well as being force-fed and injected with hallucinogenic drugs. He often went days without food or water and was kept in a tiny, dark dirt cell during periods of solitary confinement. On one occasion, the prison administrators orchestrated an elaborate ruse, trying to convince him that his daughter and grandchildren had been killed in a plane crash -- all in an effort to break de Sosa Chabau psychologically.
De Sosa Chabau was released from prison in 1980. Years later, he relived some of his nightmarish experiences in prison when he recognized a man in South Florida who had tortured him with electric shocks. That man, Eriberto Mederos, a head nurse at Mazorra Psychiatric Hospital, was convicted on August 1, 2002, of fraudulently obtaining American citizenship. Mederos specifically told de Sosa Chabau that the purpose of his punishment in the hospital was because of his "counter-revolutionary" opposition to the communist dictatorship in Cuba. On August 23, 2002, Eriberto Mederos died before a sentence was imposed.
The de Sosa Chabau experience contextualizes the phony revolutionary romanticism of the Che Guevara T-shirt crowd. When we consider the anemic response of the Biden administration to the current, unprecedented anti-government rallies, the dire jeopardy facing the Cuban people is revealed in stark relief.
Cuban President and First Secretary of the Communist Party Miguel Díaz-Canel could order the machine-gunning of every protestor on the streets of Havana and the Biden administration would do nothing. Well, perhaps they might take the "strong action" of two weeks ago and sanction ONE Cuban government official, followed by the "stunning" sanctioning of TWO additional Cuban police officials. Díaz-Canel actually condemned protestors looking for food, calling them "counter-revolutionary mercenaries."
Meanwhile, over on Capitol Hill, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Squad are advocating for programs and policies right out of the Cuban Communist Party's playbook. They actually want the power outages, rationed medical care and food shortages ordinary Cubans are protesting against. Their militant ideology and policy proposals fit right into the anti-American, Marxist "Critical FILL-IN-THE-BLANK Theory" concepts taught from the Frankfurt School.
Under the Biden administration, the Cuban people will be ignored by the United States, again, as they have been for 60+ years. It is a horror for America -- with brutal, bloody consequences for the innocent people that continue to hold out hope that America will finally help.
Chris Farrell is Director of Investigations at Judicial Watch and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.