Demonstrations exploded in the streets of Cuba. Many lawmakers from both parties spoke up to encourage the demonstrators under threat of violence from the Communist regime.
And still, what we learn regarding political unrest in Cuba could shed light on whether Democrats or Republicans dominate the House and Senate after the 2022 midterms, and the political stripe of Florida.
Let’s begin with members of the squad in the House of Representatives: Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.
These progressive lawmakers are usually outspoken when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. Tlaib and Omar have made provocative comments about Israel and American support for the Jewish state. Though all were conspicuously quiet - for days - when it came to helping the anti-communist rebels in Cuba.
"The silence of the squad is deafening," stated Josh Kraushaar of National Journal. "They rarely miss an opportunity to speak out against violations of human rights in any part of the globe."
And when one of the squad members did speak, it revealed a rift in the Democratic party. It revealed that Republicans may have a wedge to describe Democrats as soft on socialism.
After days of radio silence, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denounced the anti-democratic crackdown in Cuba.
Though then the Congresswoman ripped the President.
"I outright reject the Biden Administration’s defense of the embargo," chastised Ocasio-Cortez, describing the U.S. economic barrier as "cruelty."
Former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., upbraided Ocasio-Cortez for her take, via Twitter. The Florida Democrat remarked that Havana "has violated human rights" and "killed dissidents."
Four House members are associated with the Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA: Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Reps. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., & Cori Bush, D-Mo.
The DSA has shown solidarity with the communist government in Cuba.
"There doesn't seem to be a way to convince them that the regime in Cuba is even a dictatorship," stated Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla. "Clearly they have that great admiration for radical left ideologies. They themselves espouse radical left ideologies."
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., identifies as a socialist. Though Sanders supports the rebels over the communist government.
"I urgently hope that the government there will tolerate and respect people's right to protest," stated Sanders.
Yet there’s a political dilemma for Democrats if many of their most outspoken, left-wing members don’t speak out against Havana.
Democrats lost two House seats in southern Florida last year, one held by Mucarsel-Powell. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., toppled Mucarsel-Powell. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., unseated former Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla.
That’s because partly Cuban-American voters thought Democrats were squishy on socialism. And, the views of progressives in Congress overshadow mainstream voices in the party.