Biden’s statement follows allegations from Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel that the United States is funding the demonstrators.
“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,” Biden said.
“The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights,” the president continued, adding that those rights, “including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected.”
“The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves,” Biden said.
Protesters demanded freedom and are calling for the disbandment of the country’s communist dictatorship as the country goes through its worst economic crisis in decades, along with a resurgence of coronavirus cases.
Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, took to Twitter to say the “U.S. supports freedom of expression and assembly across Cuba, and would strongly condemn any violence or targeting of peaceful protesters who are exercising their universal rights.”
But Díaz-Canel blamed the U.S. for the protests, claiming the American government has not only limited Cuba’s access to goods but also paid people to protest.