As protests and freedom demonstrations rage in Cuba, former President Donald Trump used the moment to urge President Joe Biden to stand up to Communist Cuba. Trump also took a swipe at former President Barack Obama, who was cozy with former Cuban president Raul Castro at a baseball game during 2016 in Havana.
Biden was the vice president at the time of Obama's visit to Cuba for a game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team. Trump said Obama's visit with Castro happened while the Cuban government “imprisoned, beat, and killed the Cuban people.”
Trump said Biden “must stand up to the Communist regime—or history will remember.”
“Don't forget that Biden and the Democrats campaigned on reversing my very tough stance on Cuba,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump then brought up the baseball game.
“Remember when Obama attended baseball games with Castros while they imprisoned, beat, and killed the Cuban people.”
Cubans flocked the streets all over the island country Sunday in protests, chanting “libertad,” which means freedom. The Cuban people chanted they wanted freedom from oppressive government, and Trump agreed with their plight.
“I stand with the Cuban people 100% in their fight for freedom. The Government must let them speak and be free! Joe Biden MUST stand up to the Communist regime or—history will remember. The Cuban people deserve freedom and human rights! THEY ARE NOT AFRAID!,” Trump said.
Trump's hard-line stance on Cuba included ending an Obama policy that allowed Cuban baseball players the chance to play professional ball in America without having to defect from Cuba.
The deal between Obama and Castro, in an effort by the Obama administration to open the door for trade between the countries, was an attempt to mend relations between the U.S. and Cuba.
Under the deal, Major League Baseball (MLB) teams paid a fee to the Cuban Baseball Federation (CBF) for each player signed by each MLB team. However, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which is part of the Treasury Department, said the agreement violated U.S. trade law. The office sent a letter to MLB saying that the Cuban federation was, in fact, part of the Cuban government.
“Payments to the Cuban Baseball Federation are not authorized…because a payment to the Cuban Baseball Federation is a payment to the Cuban government,” the letter stated.
MLB's front office responded with a letter claiming the current deal was the best way for young athletes to avoid human trafficking.
“The objective is to end the dangerous trafficking of Cuban baseball players who desire to play professional baseball in the United States,” the MLB said.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said that MLB's payments to Cuba were more like a “ransom” and that the island nation wants “legalized trafficking of persons.”
“Because #Cuba regime doesn't allow them to travel freely the only way Cuban baseball players can make it to @MLB is to escape. Regime cut a deal with baseball to allow players to leave, but only if MLB pays them a ransom. In essence they want legalized trafficking of persons.”
In Cuba today, there were were few known protests. In South Florida, the demonstrations continued on Monday.
“Big demonstrations are breaking out in Cuba and Miami in protest of the Communist Cuban Government (although, today there are zero protesters in Cuba—you know what that means!),” Trump said in his statement.
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