The House passed a measure Wednesday urging President Joe Biden and Congress to condemn the Communist leadership in Cuba.
The memorial, though purely symbolic, marks the Legislature’s latest rebuke of communism across the globe. It further calls on the federal government to encourage United Nations sanctions against the island country.
Miramar Republican Rep. Tom Fabricio is the bill sponsor. The House unanimously passed the memorial (HM 43) via a voice vote. It now awaits Senate consideration.
“This memorial shows that we are committed to Cuba’s freedom and will always support their fight for a true democracy,” Fabricio told lawmakers.
The proposal comes after Cubans in July launched protests across the nation and decried communist rule amid a worsening COVID-19 and economic situation.
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, however, responded with force. Some 600 Cubans were jailed and some remain missing, according to the U.S. Department of State. Some protesters face 30 years in prison, the Miami Herald reports.
Aventura Democratic Rep. Joe Geller supported the proposal and called on colleagues to do the same. He stood as the sole lawmaker aside from the sponsor to speak on the proposal, though all members voted in favor of it.
“For far too many years, the long-suffering people of Cuba have been under the heel of a brutal dictatorship,” Geller said.
Political leaders in Florida were swift to react to the wave of Cuba demonstrations, and their efforts to address the situation remain firm.
Republican Sen. Rick Scott sent a letter directly to Biden in January, demanding the President intervene on behalf of a prominent political prisoner in Cuba. In it, Scott says José Daniel Ferrer — a leader of Unión Patriótica de Cuba — remains imprisoned, and is in declining health.
Like Scott, Fabricio lamented the treatment of Cuban activists.
“We need to be unified,” Fabricio said. “We need to go forth and let the administration know that action needs to be taken immediately.”
Memorials do not require the Governor’s signature.