On Monday afternoon, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) delivered an impassioned speech on the Senate floor about historic anti-communism protests in Cuba.
The lawmaker — who is of Cuban descent — expressed hope that the United States and the international community would immediately support the Cuban people as they oppose the island’s regime.
“The first lesson we need to take away from it is that Marxism, socialism, doesn’t work,” Rubio told his colleagues. “The way socialism, the way Marxism has always worked, the way it’s always empowered itself, is it goes to the people and immediately divides them. It says there is an oppressor class and that there is this victim class and these evil oppressors, capitalists, in the case of socialism or traditional Marxism, they oppress the victims.”
Although socialists promise security in exchange for freedom, Rubio emphasized that they universally fail in their plans: “And when it can’t deliver the security, you don’t get your freedom back. And in fact, when you start to complain about that, that is when the repression comes. That’s what’s happened in Cuba.”
Socialism likewise fails to deliver on its promises of prosperity.
“There is no real economy in Cuba. ‘Give up your freedom and you’ll have an education. Free education for everybody.’ That education, number one, you’re a doctor. You can drive a taxi cab in Cuba and make more money. Or number two, you get sent, forced, to go overseas and work basically on slave wages, no pay — barely any pay at all. It’s basically human trafficking, as our own Department of State found when it looked at the Cuban doctors program and how it’s been abused.”
Rubio also noted that although the Cuban government blames the American embargo for rampant poverty, Cubans within the nation are artificially stopped from pursuing entrepreneurship and basic economic activities: “Why aren’t fishermen and farmers in Cuba allowed to fish or grow things and sell to people? It’s not the embargo that keeps them from doing that. It’s the regime. Why can’t Cubans own a small business? Why can’t a Cuban do in Cuba what they can do in Miami, what they can do in Washington, what they do in countries all over the world?”
Rubio called on American officials to not cede ground to the Cuban government — namely, by being “clear about whose side we’re on,” refusing to change Trump-era policies, making it a “top priority to allow the people of Cuba to have free, unfettered open internet access,” encouraging allies in Europe to stop giving cover to the Cuban regime, and refusing to tolerate a mass migration event to American shores.
The senator also pointed out that artists — particularly, the composers of “Patria Y Vida,” which translates to “Fatherland and Life” — tired of repression are behind the current movement.
“The chorus reads, ‘Se acabó. Tu cinco nueve, yo, doble dos / Ya se acabó. Sesenta años trancando el dominó.’ How it translates is basically it says, ‘It’s over. You’re 59, meaning 1959, the year Castro took over, but I have double twos,’” explained Rubio. “And everyone knows in the domino game, at the end of the chain… if no one has any dominoes left to put down, the game gets locked and you count numbers and you count dots to see who won. So it says, ‘It’s over. You’re 59, but I have double twos. It’s over. Sixty years with the domino game locked up for us.’”
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