On Tuesday Miami Mayor Francis Suarez suggested that President Biden should consider conducting air strikes against Cuba to show solidarity and support with those protesting on the island.
Francis Suarez told Fox News that “What should be contemplated right now is a coalition of potential military action in Cuba.” Suarez, whose father became Miami’s first Cuban born Mayor in 1985 pointed to previous U.S interventions in Kosovo and Panama as models for how any potential military action should be carried out. When asked if he was calling for airstrikes to be carried out against Cuba, Suarez said, “What I’m suggesting is that option is one that has to be explored, and one that cannot be just simply discarded as an option that is not on the table.”
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Suarez did go on to say that he believed airstrikes should be looked at as a “potential option in addition to a variety of other options that can be discussed,” and not just as a stand-alone solution. In a later interview with the Miami Herald he revealed that he was expecting a call from the President and that he would use the phone call as an opportunity to urge the President to consider military action.
When asked about the mass demonstrations sweeping across the island he said that “It’s difficult for any elected official, Republican or Democrat, not to take the side of the Cuban people when they see images of people risking their lives, protesting in the streets.” However any talk of possible U.S intervention in Cuba prompted Russia, China and Iran to issue warnings against any such action.
Spokesman Zhao Lijian of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing blamed the US embargo as the “root cause of Cuba’s shortage of medicines and energy.” Lijian continued by saying that “China firmly opposes foreign interference in Cuba’s internal affairs, firmly supports what Cuba has done in fighting COVID-19, improving people’s livelihood and upholding social stability, and firmly supports Cuba in exploring a development path suited to its national conditions.” In Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the Kremlin “stressed the inadmissibility of foreign interference and other destructive actions that are fraught with the destabilization in Cuba.”
Iran which has also faced similar US economic sanctions to those experienced by Cuba echoed China and Russia’s sentiment, with Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh telling reporters “In this situation, where the United States is primarily responsible for the many problems created for the Cuban people, it is trying to appear as a supporter of the Cuban protests and has tried to interfere in the internal affairs of this country in a blatant violation of international rules.”
Since protests erupted in Cuba, thousands of Cuban Americans have taken to the streets of Florida (the home of the largest US based population of Cuban Americans) to show solidarity with the Cuban people and demand that action is taken to support them. For the second day in a row Cuban-Americans gathered in Tampa at an intersection, blocking traffic and waving Cuban flags. A similar scene was repeated in Miami were protesters blocked traffic on Miami’s Palmetto Expressway to voice their concern and support.