Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Wednesday requesting federal assistance in providing internet access in Cuba.
The request comes amid the protests in Cuba and some parts of the U.S. advocating for a change to the oppressive dictatorship that has been affecting Cuban citizens for decades.
In the opening paragraph of Governor DeSantis’ letter to Biden, it states, “I write to urge you 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 the yoke of a cruel dictatorship.”
In the wake of the protest, DeSantis says the Cuban government have “responded with violence” and that the “tyrannical regime” of President Miguel Díaz-Canel has blocked citizens’ 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,” he added.
DeSantis then cites past examples of federal intervention to provide international communication to the oppressed countries by highlighting the use of broadcast radio into the Soviet Union during the Cold War, as well as the use of Radio and Televisión Martí in Miami that has historically sent information to Cubans from the U.S.
DeSantis also addressed the inability of the Cuban people to communicate outside their country. DeSantis wrote, “In addition to sending information, however, our efforts must include creating a means for the Cuban people to speak to the world. 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.”
He ends his letter to Biden noting the importance of Cuban citizens having internet access. He says, “Internet access for the Cuban people is of critical importance as they stand up against the repressive Communist government … such access may be the key to finally bringing democracy to the island.”
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]