Texas GOP Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSchumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks Bipartisan senators to hold hearing on 'toxic conservatorships' amid Britney Spears controversy GOP senators seek to block dishonorable discharges for unvaccinated troops MORE on Monday called on the Biden administration to explicitly support Cuban citizens protesting against their country's communist government.
“The American people stand squarely with the men and women of Cuba and their noble fight for liberty, and the Biden administration must unequivocally and forcefully tell the world as much — immediately," said Cruz in a statement.
Cruz, whose father was born in Cuba, was a fierce critic of former President Obama's Cuban rapprochement policy and has called for a hard line against Cuba.
“There’s no doubt the Communist Cuban regime will be consigned to the dustbin of history — where despots and dictators are not absolved for the suffering they inflicted on their citizens,” Cruz said Monday.
Thousands of Cubans took to the streets starting Sunday, protesting against conditions on the island, where the coronavirus pandemic piled on to a preexisting economic crisis.
While it was unclear whether the protesters sought improved economic conditions or broader political reforms, one of the chants shared over online videos was "libertad!" — "liberty!"
“The Cuban people have fought against the tyranny of the Communist regime for decades, and have taken to the streets demanding liberty. This regime has brutalized and denied freedom to generations of Cubans, forcing many including my family to flee or be murdered, and over the coming days will widen its violence to try to suppress the brave protesters in the streets," Cruz said in the statement.
Biden on Monday released a statement supporting the protesters and criticizing alleged corruption in President Miguel Díaz-Canel's government.
"We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba's authoritarian regime," said Biden.
"The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves," he added.