U.S. President Joe Biden said Thursday that Washington will review whether Cuba can help restore the Internet, which has been in the dark since the start of the weekend protests.
“They have cut off access to the internet. “We are considering whether there is technical expertise to restore this access,” Biden told reporters at a news conference alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Several U.S. lawmakers have called on the president to address connectivity issues on the island in recent days, as Havana is reeling from food and drug shortages and at least one person has died and hundreds have been arrested.
Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn told the VOA on Thursday that the Biden administration must properly support the Cuban people.
“It simply came to our notice then. And it turns out that what they’re trying to do is not take a fight, “Blackburn said.
According to Reuters, Florida Gov. Ron de Santis said: “Time is of the essence here. “Since the government has to darken the truth, they can get a higher hand on this issue,” he said of the Cuban government.
Global Internet surveillance netblocks have confirmed restrictions on multiple social media and messaging platforms across Cuba over the past week.
“Thousands of socialist government policies and rallies against rising prices are likely to limit the flow of information from Cuba after mass protests on Sunday,” he said. The company said In a statement.
Earlier on Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced a 116-member Cuban advisory team to support Cuban protesters and formulate policies to hold the Cuban government accountable for human rights abuses.
“I know this group, many of whom are Cuban Americans and have witnessed the brutality of communism in one way or another, will work tirelessly for independence,” McCarthy said in a statement.
European leaders have also expressed support for the Cuban people. On Monday, European Union Foreign Minister Josep Borrell called on the Cuban government to “listen to this protest of discontent.”
Global support for the Cuban protests
Politicians and leaders have praised Sunday’s “historic” protests, urging the Cuban government to respect the human rights of the people.
Cuban President Miguel Dodge-Canel and other officials have blamed the Cuban-American and U.S. government for decades of the unrest posted on social media over sanctions on Cuba. Sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump and declining epidemic-related tourism have put additional pressure on the Cuban economy in recent years.
On Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro expressed his government’s support for Dodge-Canel, saying, “If the United States really wants to help Cuba, immediately lift sanctions and blockades against its people.”
The protests were the largest in Cuba in decades.
Some information for this report came from Reuters.