After Cuba’s communist dictatorship stopped its people from updating their nation protest, Republicans are putting pressure on the Biden administration to provide internet access to back them up.
On Wednesday night July 14, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Republican Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr requested President Joe Biden to assist in providing internet access to Cubans. Sen. Marco Rubio’s office verified that Republicans in Congress are talking with the Biden administration about whether and how to carry out this new effort.
During a news conference at the White House on Thursday evening July 15, Biden admitted that the U.S. was considering whether it had the technological capability to send wifi to Cuba, reports the Washington Examiner.
The Cuban government retaliated forcefully against citizen rallies opposing its authoritarian rule, imposing an internet blackout from Sunday to Wednesday, July 14, arresting or detaining hundreds of protesters around the nation.
“It’s communism versus capitalism, and we have the capability to help shed light in a time of darkness within Cuba, so why wouldn’t we?” the Washington Examiner reported on Carr’s comments.
Carr claims that the federal government, in collaboration with American corporations like Google, has the technical potential to provide an internet connection to Cubans through hot air balloons or straight from U.S. land.
He further claimed that during the Trump administration, the U.S. government and tech corporations utilized comparable aerial internet technologies to offer online connectivity to Kenya and Puerto Rico.
Republicans argue that internet connection is critical to the success of the Cuban people’s anti-communist rallies.
“If the Cuban people have free and unfettered access to the internet—the first thing the regime shut down yesterday was the internet—they can communicate with each other, and they can receive information and communicate with the world,” Rubio said on the Senate floor on Monday.
“There’s a way to use federal facilities in Key West and Guantanamo Bay on the island to provide using the helium balloons the ability to get unfettered internet access to the people on the ground so they can have communication with the world and talk to themselves and take action and begin to build a new country,” Rubio said on Fox News on Thursday, July 15.