Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) blasted the White House for “shameful cowardice” on Wednesday for allegedly hanging up on him when he called to speak to President Biden about a Cuban human rights activist being detained on the island.  

A spokesperson for Scott confirmed to Fox News that the senator made the call asking to speak to Biden on Wednesday — his second call this week to the White House about José Daniel Ferrer’s alleged detainment and torture by the Cuban government.

The spokesperson said Friday that the senator’s first call was sent to a voicemail and his second call resulted in a disconnection.

Scott took to Twitter to share that the White House hung up on him on Wednesday “when I called to talk to someone about the horrific torture and abuse Jose Daniel Ferrer is experiencing as a prisoner of the illegitimate communist Cuban regime.”

“This isn’t just weakness, it’s shameful cowardice. I won’t tolerate it,” he tweeted. 

Scott and the White House did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment. 

In August, Ferrer was ordered to serve the remaining four years of a sentence for assault in prison, despite the sentence previously having been commuted to house arrest. Critics have since alleged that the move was politically motivated, Reuters reported

Ferrer, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba opposition group, was arrested in October 2019 on charges of abducting and assaulting a man, charges he has denied.

He was convicted in February 2020. His sentence was commuted to house arrest two months later under international pressure, according to Reuters. The commutation was reversed in August.

Scott’s statement comes a week after Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) sent a letter to the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell urging him to condemn Havana’s treatment of political prisoners.

They called on the EU to demand Cuba “immediately release Jose Daniel Ferrer, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, Maykel Osorbo, and all political prisoners.”

Scott previously issued a statement after Ferrer’s son was detained by the government on Dec. 12 for peacefully demonstrating in recognition of International Human Rights Day. 

Tags Bob Menendez Cuba Joe Biden José Daniel Ferrer Marco Rubio Rick Scott Robert Menendez

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