The Biden administration appeared to have taken a new stance on communism after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted it was a "failed ideology" on Thursday. In talking about the recent Cuban protests, Psaki told Fox News's Peter Doocy that communism "failed the people of Cuba."
"I would say communism is a failed ideology, and we certainly believe that. It has failed the people of Cuba. They deserve freedom," Psaki said of the Cuban nation's rise against its authoritiarian leaders, as reported by Breitbart.
The White House Press Secretary added that Cuban citizens deserve to have a supportive government that takes care of their needs, especially when it comes to basic health and medical supplies and vaccines as it continues to face the COVID pandemic.
Psaki said that instead, the Cubans are suffering under "an authoritarian, communist regime" that has "repressed its people and has failed the people of Cuba." She added that the government's communist ideology "led to a lack of access to economic opportunity, to medical supplies, to COVID vaccines."
The White House press secretary's response appears to be very different from the comments made by the Assistant Secretary to the State Department, Julie Chung.
"Peaceful protests are growing in #Cuba as the Cuban people exercise their right to peaceful assembly to express concern about rising COVID cases/deaths & medicine shortages," wrote Chung, who received much backlash after posting.
"People in #Cuba are protesting 62 years of socialism, lies, tyranny & misery not 'expressing concern about rising COVID cases/deaths.' Why is it so hard for [President Joe Biden] & the people in his administration to say that?" Sen. Marco Rubio wrote in response.
Across Cuba's more than 40 provinces, citizens have taken to the streets in the largest demonstration in decades as they strive to put an end to 62 years of abusive communist rule in the island, which is led by President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who recently said that the administration had to "make a critical analysis of our own problems so we can act, so we can overcome, and prevent them from repeating themselves, so we can transform situations," NBC News reported.
Protests sparked during the weekend over dire shortages of food and medicine, as well as repeated electricity outages in the face of the COVID pandemic, the India Times reported. Some Cubans, meanwhile, maintain that its hardships are the fault of U.S. sanctions estimated at $5.5 billion last year.
As protests spilled over to Monday, police began cracking down, even shutting down social media and messaging apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram. The ban on social media was lifted on Wednesday.
In response, Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero promised to lift restrictions on the amount of food and medicine being funneled into the island. But police brutally attacked Cuban protesters, arresting at least 5,000 people after President Díaz-Canel called on citizens to attack protesters on the streets under his "order of combat" on Sunday.
Psaki was asked by Doocy if President Joe Biden has any plans of addressing the human rights abuses of the Cuban government towards its people and she reiterated the president's statement to "stand with the Cuban people" during this time.
Psaki added that there is an "ongoing review" of U.S. policies concerning Cuba and that they are working to ensure that the U.S. is "not doing anything to pad the pockets of a corrupt authoritarian regime." Cubans all over the world are joining in on the protests, while those in the U.S. are calling on the Biden administration to provide aid to those who continue to suffer under the Cuban regime.