It was double trouble for President Joe Biden on Fox News’ Hannity, with two leading Florida Republicans amping up the pressure on the The White House to help liberate Cuba.
Invoking the Monroe Doctrine and the familiar contours of the Cold War, U.S Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. Ron DeSantis urged Biden to move faster and “tighten the screws” on the communist regime in Havana.
“Step up and be on the side of freedom,” DeSantis said, goading Biden to move on his proposal to beam the internet into Cuba to evade blockades from the regime that effectively silence the dissidents’ message.
“He has it in his authority to do that,” DeSantis said. However, “as of now, he’s sitting there and doing nothing.”
“Right now, we can’t get him to do the internet, how can we get him to do anything else,” sniped Rubio, later in the program.
DeSantis advised a tough posture, building a coalition to make sure the world knows that the “free world stands with the people of Cuba.”
“Let’s get real here. Let’s understand who the people are who stand on the side of freedom and stand with them.” the Governor said. “Let’s tighten the screws on the regime.”
He contended that Trump tightened the screws on Cuba and Venezuela, which put pressure on “malign actors in the Western Hemisphere.”
DeSantis also maligned the “completely open southern border,” offering a callback to Florida’s deployment of forces to Texas, where they apprehended undocumented immigrants. A majority of them, he’d said previously, were headed to Florida.
“There were people from the Middle East, from Haiti, you name it,” DeSantis said Wednesday.
Rubio also spotlighted a robust Russian presence in Cuba, noting military and trade cooperation between Moscow and its long time client in Havana. He also predicted it wouldn’t matter in the end.
“In the end, it’s not going to save this regime,” Rubio said, calling it “mortally wounded” and a “dying animal.”
DeSantis cited the Monroe Doctrine as a good guidepost for policy regarding the Western Hemisphere.
“We don’t want to have any influence from Russia and China,” DeSantis said, urging an appeal to the Organization of American States, one that Rubio and many other members of the Florida Delegation have already signed off on.
“Without Cuba, there is no Maduro, there is no Ortega. They are the source of all evil in the Western Hemisphere,” Rubio said of the communist regime.
Meanwhile, a Democratic candidate for Governor suggested the town hall on Fox was just agitprop for the base.
Ron DeSantis has Fox News, but we have everyone else.
Florida will be blue in 2022.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) July 22, 2021