Ron DeSantis, Marco Rubio want Joe Biden to help bring internet access to Cuba
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Marco Rubio. Image via AP

Virus Outbreak Pence
Will Biden go along with DeSantis' ask?

Protests against the communist regime in Cuba continue, but the world is cut off from knowing what is being done to protesters, journalists and citizens.

Florida’s Governor and Senior Senator each implored the President to do something about it Wednesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants President Joe Biden to help him do something about that and asked for that assistance in a polemic-free letter to the White House.

“Steps must be taken immediately,” the Governor urged.

DeSantis wrote Biden Wednesday asking him to “assist in providing internet access to the people of Cuba standing up against communist oppression and demanding a voice after decades of suffering under a cruel dictatorship.”

“At first, the world could see the images and videos of this mass movement, but now the tyrannical regime of President Miguel Díaz-Canel has shut off access to the Internet. The Cuban people have lost their ability to communicate with one another, and many Floridians born in Cuba have no information on the safety of their loved ones. Equally as important, the world has also lost the ability to see what is happening on the ground as the Cuban people rise in support of freedom,” DeSantis wrote, striking Reagan-era polemical tones.

“Technology exists to provide Internet access into Cuba remotely, using the innovation of American enterprise and the diverse industries here. Similar to the American efforts to broadcast radio into the Soviet Union during the Cold War in Europe, the federal government has a history of supporting the dissemination of information into Cuba for the Cuban people through Radio & Televisión Martí, located in Miami. In addition to sending information, however, our efforts must include creating a means for the Cuban people to speak to the world,” DeSantis added.

“I urge you to act immediately to provide all necessary authorizations, indemnifications, and funding to American businesses with the capability to provide Internet access for the people of Cuba. Steps must be taken immediately,” DeSantis added. “Internet access for the Cuban people is of critical importance as they stand up against the repressive Communist government. In the hands of these brave individuals, such access may be the key to finally bringing democracy to the island.”

DeSantis, like many Florida leaders, has been directly engaging with the Cuban American community as they yearn for freedom for the island. And he broached the subject there.

“One of the things I think we should be able to do with our private companies or with the United States is to provide some of that internet service via satellite,” DeSantis said at a roundtable Tuesday in Miami.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio likewise called on Biden to move forward with circumventing the cyber blockade.

In my letter to you on July 12 outlining steps to be taken to support the historic protests, I urged you to facilitate open and free internet for the people of Cuba. Without it, the Cuban people, who yearn for basic political and economic freedoms, can more easily be monitored, suppressed, detained, and brutalized by the regime without accountability. Bringing free and open internet will help the Cuban people communicate with one another without censorship and repression and show them that the world stands beside them in their quest for liberty,” Rubio wrote.

“In recent years, American firms have made significant strides in telecommunications technologies, including fiber-less solutions that can be deployed to remote regions at relatively short notice. For example, in 2017, during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the island of Puerto Rico received emergency connectivity through balloon-supplied internet. American technical capacity, coupled with the physical proximity of Cuba to the United States and its interests, make providing unrestricted access to the island an attainable and morally imperative goal. Today, U.S. companies stand ready and willing to support this effort with the support of the federal government,” the Senator added.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


9 comments

  • Frankie M.

    July 14, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    Next thing you know Trump will be fB president of Cuba…no thx…hard pass! Maybe we can just make some wholesale changes to their history curriculum over there? Did somebody say whitewash?

  • DR LARRY MYERS

    July 14, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    This is a vital piece of writing. It exemplifies the gravity of a Cuba situation buried behind Afghanistan, Covid & political bickering. As a university professor for 40 years & as a freedom fighter, patriot, free thinker & devout Catholic the word must get out. My mission & calling has been the theater. I have a foundation Playwrights Sanctuary focusing on plays about crises & serious dilemmas. Some unravelling is done via words not grenades, plays not graffiti, & organized mis en scene. However yelling in the street & a defiant appearance is sometimes needed. I certainly support the incarcerated academic activsts here And in Cuba,
    My play “Santiria Street Theater” is dedicated to my late friend, Marie Irene Fornes.

  • Tom Palmer

    July 14, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    Providing remote internet access to Puerto Rico was something the Puerto Ricans wanted. . I wonder how long any technology the Cuban government found threatening would last. This sounds like a lot of political hot air.

  • Arthur Kirby

    July 15, 2021 at 6:16 am

    Interesting ask… My question is, why is DeSantis directing it at Biden and not Elon Musk and Star Link? Why isn’t this a private sector ask?

  • Beth

    July 15, 2021 at 11:19 am

    I totally support the people of Cuba but I hardly think anyone cares what these two dumbbells want. They’ve spent the last 5 years as co conspirators to a lunatic who tried to destroy democracy in the United States. DeSantis helped promote the big lie and the attempted coup. We need to focus on getting these traitors out of office.

    • Teresa

      July 20, 2021 at 1:02 am

      Yes! And calling them “dumbbells” is kind.

  • PeterH

    July 15, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    More GQP political grandstanding! 42,000,000 Americans are without internet access ….. and Marco Rubio and Ron DeSantis want the USA to address access in Cuba!

    Let Cubans ….. who actually live in Cuba ….. their own path to self determination. Let’s remember what happens when we get involved in other people’s business and political discourse.

  • John

    July 15, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    RUBIO AND DESANTIS THESE TWO HIPOCRITE ASSHOLE. THESE TWO SUPPORTED AND AS OF TODAY STILL SUPPORTING THE OTHER ASSHOLE trumpy AS WELL AS MOST OF THE CUBIANS THAT VOTED AND STILL SUPPORTING THE ASSHOLE trumpy. NOW THEY WANT PRESIDENT BIDEN TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, ESPECIALLY SUPPLYING CUBIANS WITH INTERNET, WHEN MOST OF THE AMERICANS DON’T HAVE IT BECAUSE THEY CAN NOT AFFORD IT. YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF THE USA FIRST!. HOW QUICKLY ALL YOU ASSHOLE FORGOT WHEN THE ASSHOLE trumpy, IMMEDIATELY OVERTURNED THE TRAVELING OF THE AMERICANS GOING TO CUBA THAT OBAMA HAD PUT IN PLACE. SO YOU TWO HIPOCRITE ASSHOLE RUBIO AND DESANTIS INSTEAD OF ASKING PRESIDENT BIDEN TO HELP THE CUBIAN PEOPLE. YOU BOTH NEED TO GO TO YOUR CROOKED, HIPOCRITE ASSHOLE BUDDY trumpy AND HAVE HIM HELP THE CUBIANS. LET’S SEE HOW FAR THAT WILL GO. MOSTLY LIKE AS FAR AS THE TRAVELING RETRACTION THAT THE CROOKED, HIPOCRITE, ASSHOLE trumpy DID.

    • Teresa

      July 20, 2021 at 1:03 am

      Your post made me laugh but I agree with what you said!

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Jesse Scheckner, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories