Cuban Exiles Urge Biden to Back 'Freedom Fighters,' Avoid Bay of Pigs Mistakes

After thousands of demonstrators swarmed the streets of Cuba calling for the removal of President Miguel Diaz-Canel and protesting for food and vaccines on Sunday, a group of Cuban exiles in Miami, Florida, have called for the U.S. to "step in," back the "freedom fighters," and "bring this regime to an end."

In a Monday statement, President Joe Biden said, "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."

Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat, a Cuban exile and member of the Assembly for Cuban Resistance, told Newsweek that Biden's "initial statements" have "been a good start," but stressed the need for military intervention.

Cuba Protests
Cuban exiles in Miami call for the United States to back the protestors and take action against Cuba's authoritarian regime. In this image, protestors gather in Miami, Florida to support Cuban protestors on July 12, 2021. EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/Getty

Hundreds of thousands of Cubans have experienced blackouts, food shortages, and a lack of COVID-19 vaccines. Gutierrez-Boronat and his group say they want the Biden administration to take military action against the Cuban regime. "It's imperative that the international democratic community led by the United States, very clearly, warn this regime and if necessary steps in to protect the human people and bring this regime to an end," he said.

The dissident advised the Biden administration to avoid the mistakes made by former President John F. Kennedy in the Bay of Pigs.

"We hope that in 2021, President Biden can fix what Kennedy broke in 1961," Gutierrez-Boronat said. "We hope the Cuban freedom fighters aren't abandoned again, because this has been the greatest uprising in the last 63 years 30 cities, dozens of Cubans peacefully calling for change."

Asked how the U.S. could avoid the mistakes of its past military action in Cuba, Gutierrez-Boronat said: "There has to be the commitment to follow it through. There was no commitment by Kennedy to follow it through, and it condemned the Cuban people to 60 years of tyranny."

Diaz-Canel has come out pointing fingers at the longstanding U.S. embargo for causing the economic and political unrest in Cuba, but Cuban exiles in Miami disagree.

Gutierrez-Boronat said Biden's initial statements on the Cuban protests have been "very good" and that "he's been right to maintain sanctions."

Anti-government Cuban activists are "complete supporters the US embargo ... because it binds U.S. policies to the attainment of democracy in Cuba ...the only way Cuba will change is, if this totalitarian regime is to deprive the resources," he added. "For the sake of the hemisphere and for the sake of the Cuban people, this regime needs to end."