U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor praised President Joe Biden in a letter on Tuesday for his response to Cuba’s crisis, while continuing to push a peaceful transition of power in the country.
In her letter, Castor thanks Biden for his support of the Cuban people, and his implementation of sanctions on the communist regime members in response to the government’s crackdown on protesters.
“On behalf of the citizens of the Tampa area, many of whom share a proud Cuban heritage, thank you for your strong first set of sanctions targeting the head of the Cuban military and others in the Cuban regime,” Castor said in her letter. “As you consider the next steps to support the people of Cuba, the goal must be a peaceful transfer of power — one in which everyday Cubans have a right to choose their own government.”
The Democratic Congresswoman, who has previously called for a peaceful transfer of power along with other Tampa Bay leaders, also applauded Biden’s support of the peaceful protests in Tampa.
“The Tampa community has been central and supportive of human rights and Cuban independence,” Castor said in her letter. “Before the Cuban regime cut off the internet we heard directly that most Cubans do not have electricity, medicine, food, internet or access to a hospital. They feel completely betrayed by the Cuban regime and are demanding freedom and a better life. We must do all we can to increase access to internet and communication on the island.”
Although receiving a share of praise for his actions, Biden has also been criticized by some Republicans for not responding soon — or strongly — enough. Support for the protests has been bipartisan, though suggestions on how to respond have varied.
Biden released a statement supporting Cuban protesters on July 12, one day after demonstrations spread throughout the country and went viral on social media.
“The government must change to give voice and rights to the people of Cuba,” Castor said in her letter. “To that end, further sanctions should be imposed against additional members the communist regime as we rally other nations to press for democracy and human rights in Cuba.”