President Biden is considering augmenting staffing levels at the U.S. embassy in Havana and forming a group to deliver remittances to the Cuban people, a senior administration official told FOX News on Monday.
“On July 11, the world watched as tens of thousands of Cuban citizens marched through Havana and cities across Cuba bravely asserting their fundamental and universal rights and demanding freedom and relief from the oppression of Cuba’s authoritarian regime,” the senior administration official said. “The Biden-Harris administration has and will continue to stand with the Cuban people.”The president is directing the government to actively pursue measures to support the Cuban people and hold the regime in power responsible, the official said.
Republicans have repeatedly accused the Biden administration of doing too little to help the Cuban people confront the communist dictatorship.
In addition to asking the State Department to review staffing levels at the embassy as a means to facilitate diplomatic and civil engagement, the administration is looking into ways to engage the private sector to make the internet more widely available to the country’s residents. It is also looking at ways to increase humanitarian assistance to Cuba and will continue to designate Cuban officials responsible for violent repression and human rights violations.
Earlier this month the Cuban people carried out the most widespread protests the country has seen in decades over food and medicine shortages, as well as power outages. The protests turned violent as participants clashed with the police.
Over the weekend, President Miguel Díaz-Canel gathered supporters in the streets and delivered a speech where he partly blamed the U.S. embargo for the unrest.
Fox News’ Patrick Ward contributed to this report.