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LIVE UPDATES: Cuba cracks down on protesters; concerns grow over reports of missing detainees

Cuba’s Communist government showed no interest in compromise after being rocked by historic protests that took aim at the communist regime and the worsening conditions in the country. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, criticize the Biden administration over an early tweet that suggested that freedom of assembly is respected in Cuba.


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Cuban official says American actions could trigger exodus of Cuban to US

Cuba’s foreign minister blasted the United States for allegedly fomenting unrest on the island nation, saying American actions could trigger an exodus of Cubans to the U.S.

“I accuse the government of the United States of being directly involved and of having serious responsibility in the incidents that occurred on July 11 and I warn again that it will be responsible for the consequences that arise,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on national television, the Miami Herald reported. 

He also accused Republicans officials in Florida of financing the demonstrations gripping the country and that the U.S. government was funding news websites to spread lies about the Cuban regime. 

Posted by Louis Casiano

Cuban protest blocks major freeway in northern Florida

More protests against the Cuban government briefly shut down Interstate 95 in Jacksonville, Fla., as demonstrators showed solidarity with similar those attending gatherings in Miami.

First Coast News reported law enforcement vehicle blocked protesters onto a ramp and that northbound lanes were eventually open. 

In a tweet, the Jacoksonville Sheriff's Office said northbound traffic on the freeway approaching the downtown area was blocked and authorities were working ot clear the roadway.

Posted by Louis Casiano

Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas warns Cubans, Haitians to not come to U.S.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday warned Cubans and Haitians not to make the dangerous trek to the United States despite the upheaval many face in their countries. 

“The time is never right to attempt migration by sea,” he said during a news conference U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters. “To those who risk their lives doing so, this risk is not worth taking.”

“Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States,” he added.

Many migrants attempting to reach U.S. shores from Cuba in recent years have died. Authorities said 20 people have died in recent weeks at sea, said Mayorkas, who fled Cuba with his family as a child in 1960.

Mayorkas said the Coast Guard has deployed officials to monitor the Florida Straits and Caribbean by air and sea. He said authorities would continue to interdict migrants attempting to reach the U.S. “irregularly.”

“Any migrant intercepted at sea, regardless of their nationality, will not be permitted to enter the United States,” he said. 

This year, the U.S. has interdicted 470 Cubans and 313 Haitians, Mayorkas said.  

Posted by Louis Casiano

One man dead in Cuban anti-government protests, report says

One man has died in the anti-government protests in Cuba, the AFP News Agency reported, citing officials. No details about the reported death were immediately available.

The communist island nation is in the third day of widespread protests amid food shortages and an economy in decline.

The demonstrations have pitted those dissatisfied with the government against pro-regime supporters.

On Tuesday, Movimiento San Isidro, a group which advocates for greater freedom of expression on the island, published a list of dozens of people who have allegedly been detained by authorities.

Among those are Camila Acosta, a journalist for the Spanish newspaper ABC. Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares has called for her release.

Posted by Louis Casiano

Cuban regime supporters seen brandishing large clubs as protest crackdown continues

A large group of pro-regime Cubans took to the streets holding large clubs as they snaked through Havana to confront critics of the country's dictatorship. 

Over the weekend, mass protests broke out throughout the country as Cubans called for an end to the communist regime that has brought on a historic and crippling economic crisis. Chants of "Down with the dictatorship" rang throughout Havana's streets. 

Cuba's authoritarian leader Miguel Díaz-Canel urged his supporters to brandish weapons and confront the anti-government protesters, sanctioning acts of violence.

Posted by Louis Casiano

Truck spray-painted with Cuban protest song crashes into Kentucky corrections building

The driver of a truck spray-painted with the name of a popular song being played during the ongoing protests in Cuba crashed into a corrections building in Kentucky on Tuesday. 

The truck hit the front of the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections building on Sixth and Liberty streets just after 2:15 p.m., police said. 

The driver was arrested, Fox affiliate, WDRB-TV reported. 

Images posted to social media showed “Patria Y Vida” spray-painted on the side of the vehicle. The song, a collaboration between Afro-Cuban reggaeton and Miami-based hip-hop stars, was released earlier this year, NPR reported. 

The title is based off the island’s communist regime’s slogan: "patria o muerte" — homeland or death. Now it's being used to galvanize Cubans to voice their frustration.

"Before the revolution, we had a beautiful Havana; now we have ruins," rapper Yotuel Romero told Billboard in February. "From that point on, I said, 'I'm not going to be quiet anymore.'"

Posted by Louis Casiano

Florida Gov. DeSantis said he wants to provide Cuba with internet access amid widespread protests

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he wants to provide Cubans on the island with internet access as protests enter the third day and the flow of information continues to encounter barriers. 

“What does the regime do when you start to see these images? They shut down the internet. They don’t want the truth to be out, they don’t want people to be able to communicate,” DeSantis said during a roundtable discussion with Republican lawmakers and members of the Cuban exile community in Miami. “And so one of the things I think we should be able to do with our private companies or with the United States is to provide some of that internet service via satellite. We have companies on the Space Coast that launch these things.” 

He said he was going to “make calls and see what are the options” from some Florida companies.

Authorities on the island have blocked social media sites in what appears to be an effort to stop the flow of information.

Posted by Louis Casiano

Miami mayor says US intervention in Cuba needed to protect national security

Mayor Francis Suarez is calling for the U.S. to intervene in Cuba after scores of demonstrators flooded the streets near Miami's Little Havana, demanding an end to the nation’s communist regime.

"This is an issue that I think very much matters to the United States," Suarez said during an interview on FOX Business' "Varney & Co." "Cuba is exporting communism throughout the hemisphere and throughout the world, and has been doing it for decades — and that's something that should interest the national security of the United States."

Hundreds of Cuban-Americans rallied behind the Cuban people for the second straight night in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, waving flags, chanting "Cuba Libre!" and demanding change in the communist country. 

Posted by Louis Casiano

AOC silent as DSA appears to back Cuba's communist regime over protesters

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other House Democrats affiliated with the far-left Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) have so far remained silent while the DSA appears to back Cuba's communist regime against protesters demanding freedom. 

Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Missouri Rep. Cori Bush make up the four DSA members in Congress.

All four members have yet to speak out about the ongoing protests in Cuba and none of their offices returned Fox News' requests for comment by press time.  

Posted by Louis Casiano

Florida protest blocks traffic on busy expressway

Protests showing support for the demonstrations in Cuba have shut down the Palmetto Expressway by Coral Way, according to Total Traffic Miami.

A rally began at Coral Way and SW 82nd Avenue before demonstrators marched onto the freeway, blocking traffic in both directions, Miami CBS reported. 

Northbound lanes were blocked between Coral Way and 8th Street and southbound lanes between Coral Way and Bird Road.

Posted by Fox News Staff

Demonstrations erupt across Florida in support of Cuban people, call for end of communist regime

Demonstrations erupted across Florida for the second straight day to show solidarity with anti-government protesters in Cuba and call for an end to the country’s communist regime.

From Jacksonville to Tampa and Miami, hundreds of community members took to the streets on Monday to rally for Cuban freedom.

"To me, what it means is a possible end to an oppression," Peter Merlo, a demonstrator in Miami, told WSVN-TV. "We don’t need to stand with Cuba. We need to act for Cuba."

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Posted by Fox News Staff

Conditions in Cuba spark demonstrations in Florida for second night

Demonstrators in Florida gathered for the second straight night in support of Cuban citizens who are protesting the country's high prices, food shortages and its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuban police are now out in force on the country's streets as President Miguel Díaz-Canel is accusing Cuban Americans of using social media to fuel the protests. 

In Jacksonville, Fla., nearly 100 demonstrators gathered for the second straight night to show their support for anti-government protesters in Cuba. 

“Right now, we don’t have any voice,” demonstrator Eduardo Ramos told WJXT-TV. “We don’t have access to hospitals, food, medicine, anything. And people are dying in the street right now.”

Posted by Fox News Staff

Cruz calls out Biden administration amid reports of Cuba’s crackdown on protesters

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Monday questioned an early tweet from the U.S. State Department that seemed to assure Americans that the right to peaceful assembly is observed in Cuba amid new reports of a punishing crackdown by the government and an emerging "list of missing persons."

Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, posted a portion of an article from the Wall Street Journal that mentioned Cuba’s Communist government’s effort to snuff out protests. Havana deployed security forces across the island and arrested dozens.

"How is this possible??" Cruz tweeted. "The Biden State Dept told us that the Cuban communist dictatorship protects their "right to peaceful assembly"?"

Posted by Edmund DeMarche

Cuban protests are not about COVID-19: Pompeo

The Biden administration was criticized after initially claiming that thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets across Cuba over COVID-19 concerns. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says that is not an accurate assessment.

Posted by Edmund DeMarche

Coast Guard tries to dissuade Cubans considering fleeing

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday tried to dissuade Cubans looking to flee the country amid widespread protests to not attempt a voyage at sea due to the perilous conditions.

The Coast Guard called the Florida Straits "dangerous and unforgiving." The statement pointed to the nearly 20 lives "tragically lost in recent weeks as a result of these dangerous voyages."

Posted by Edmund DeMarche

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