ATLANTA - Governor Brian Kemp has signed a proclamation "supporting liberty for the Cuban people."
It comes a little more than a week after thousands of Cubans took to the streets of Havana and other cities across the island to protest food shortages and high prices during the coronavirus crisis. It’s a level of frustration not seen in Cuba in more than 60 years.
"We must recognize the right of Cubans to be free from a communist government that does not protect their basic human rights or guaranteed economic opportunity for all. The State of Georgia is proud to support the people of Cuba in their stand against their communist oppressors to achieve freedom and prosperity," the proclamation read in part.
The Georgia governor has joined a chorus of voices across the country on both sides of the political aisle standing with the people of Cuba.
President Biden, who has been under congressional pressure to take action, last week called Cuba a "failed state" that was "repressing their citizens."
But Biden also suggested that taking effective action was complicated.
"There are a number of things that we would consider doing to help the people of Cuba, but it would require a different circumstance or a guarantee that they would not be taken advantage of by the government," Biden said. "For example, the ability to send remittances back to Cuba. We would not do that now because the fact is it’s highly likely the regime would confiscate those remittances or big chunks of it."
Biden said as a presidential candidate that he would revert to Obama-era policies that loosened decades of embargo restrictions on Havana, and the political right in the U.S. has accused him of not being supportive enough of Cuban dissidents. Thus far, the Biden administration has said it’s reviewing its Cuba policy and has done little to move away from Trump’s posture toward the communist regime.
Some of the more liberal members of the Democratic Party, most notably Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, have criticized the Cuban government but also called on Biden to lift the embargo and argued that the embargo policy is contributing to Cuban suffering.
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