TALLAHASSEE — Since the protests in Cuba began earlier this month, Florida Republicans have made the demonstrations a matter of urgent importance to their messaging.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Marco Rubio held a town hall in Miami live on conservative commentator Sean Hannity’s Fox News program on Wednesday. Florida House Republicans have run a series of online public service announcements about the importance of supporting the Cuban people as they air their grievances to their country’s leaders about a lack of living essentials.
A constant refrain from these elected officials, while Floridians take to the streets in support of the protests: President Joe Biden must do more to help the Cuban people.
Not to be outdone, the Democratic Party is launching an online ad campaign that highlighting the president’s words and actions on Cuba. The weeklong campaign in English and Spanish will cost “five figures” and reach nearly one million Floridians in the Tampa Bay, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach County regions, according to a Democratic National Committee spokesperson. It begins Saturday.
The ad campaign comes at a time when Democrats are struggling to find a unified message on Cuba. Some progressives have called for an end to the American embargo against the island nation, arguing it has worsened conditions for Cubans while doing little to chip away at the government’s power. More moderate Democrats, like Biden, have called for a doubling down on economic penalties against the regime.
In one of the ads, the words “communism is a universally failed system” accompanies a picture of Biden. Another reads: “As we hold the Cuban regime accountable, our support for the Cuban people is unwavering and we are making sure Cuban Americans are a vital partner in our efforts to provide relief to suffering people on the Island.”
This week, Biden announced he would sanction several military officials in Cuba who he said are responsible for the communist regime’s recent violent crackdown on protesters. The president also said his administration was working to provide a way for Cubans to get around their government’s efforts to block internet access.
The Democrats’ ads will run on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms, spokesperson Hyma Moore said.
“President Biden has been incredibly clear,” Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison said in a statement. “The Cuban people are crying out for freedom and the United States will continue to stand with them and hold Cuban officials accountable for their abuse of basic human rights.”