U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., continued his fire on the Castro regime as the process of selecting a new leader for Cuba continues.
Only 17.1 percent of Cuban voters took part in the most recent election held over the past weekend and Curbelo applauded voters who stayed home.
“The Cuban dictatorship held another empty voting exercise last weekend where only Castro cronies were permitted to appear on the ballot,” Curbelo said on Wednesday. “A record number of Cubans made the best choice of all, which was to abstain from participating in this demeaning charade. Others refused to obey the state-run media's instructions to check the ‘all candidates’ box. The real winners were the Cuba Decide activists led by Rosa María Payá, who courageously denounced the unfair process and were detained when they attempted to monitor polling places.
“It's clear the Cuban people are ready for a new beginning,” Curbelo added. “Now more than ever they need the support and solidarity of the American people, the American government and its diplomats, and all freedom loving people throughout the world. Given the absence of free, fair, multiparty elections this past weekend, I continue to urge President Trump to declare Raul Castro’s successor as illegitimate.”
Last week, Curbelo joined several Florida Republicans--U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis, Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Ted Yoho--in urging President Donald Trump to denounce whoever replaces Raul Castro.
"We write today to thank you for holding the Castro regime accountable for its oppression and ongoing human rights abuses against the Cuban people, and for furthering U.S. national security and foreign policy interests of promoting democracy,” Curbelo and the other Florida Republicans wrote. “We also request, within all applicable rules and regulations, that you continue to work toward empowering the Cuban people in their struggle for liberty
Curbelo and the other Republicans who signed the letter called Trump’s attention to a speech on Cuba he made in Miami in June.
“For nearly six decades, the Cuban people have suffered under communist domination," Trump said in that speech. “To this day, Cuba is ruled by the same people who killed tens of thousands of their own citizens, who sought to spread their repressive and failed ideology throughout our hemisphere, and who once tried to host enemy nuclear weapons 90 miles from our shores. . . This is the simple truth of the Castro regime. My administration will not hide from it, excuse it, or glamorize it. And we will never, ever be blind to it. We know what’s going on and we remember what happened.”
Curbelo and the other Republicans from Florida called on Trump to “denounce Castro’s successor as illegitimate in the absence of free, fair, and multiparty elections, and call upon the international community to support the right of the Cuban people to decide their future.”
“As you know, dictator Raúl Castro has said that he will step down from the presidency on April 19, 2018. However, we know that a predetermined, charade election orchestrated by regime officials will continue the dictatorship,” they wrote. “This sham election is yet another example of the regime’s dictatorial repression of fundamental freedoms which must not be recognized by those who value freedom and democracy. This, along with your ongoing efforts to restrict financial transactions with the Cuban military that aid the Castro regime, will assist the Cuban people in their goal of self-government. Thank you for your consideration of this request. We look forward to continuing to work with your administration on this matter.”
READ MORE FROM SUNSHINE STATE NEWS