Senate Unanimously Passes Rubio Amendment To Bring Internet To Cuba Protesters

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) added an amendment to the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget resolution that would ensure internet access for anti-communism protesters in Cuba.

According to a press release from Rubio’s office, the amendment “would create a Deficit Neutral Reserve Fund (DNRF) in the forthcoming reconciliation bill to be used to build up and deploy existing technology on the island.”

“Today, my colleagues sent a clear, bipartisan message that the United States is committed to getting uncensored and unrestricted internet access to the people of Cuba,” Rubio said in the release. “The technology exists to do this without delay, and I urge the Biden Administration to begin moving forward immediately.” 

“As the Cuban people take to the streets to call for freedom and democracy, and an end to the brutal, illegitimate communist Cuban regime, the United States must stand with these brave freedom fighters,” added Scott in an earlier statement. “The communist regime is terrified of the Cuban people, trying to cut off their communication with each other and the rest of the world and doing everything in its power to prevent them from shedding light on the regime’s oppression and atrocities.”

On the Senate floor, Rubio explained that Cubans’ unfettered access to the internet was crucial for last month’s wave of anti-regime protests.

“Cubans had limited access to the internet, which allowed them to then go on social media, communicate with each other, communicate with the world,” he remarked. “As a result, they were able also to share with the world the true brutality of that regime by posting videos of what was happening.”

As The Daily Wire reported last month, the Cuban regime relies upon Chinese technology systems to restrict internet access for its people.

A report from the Institute For War & Peace Reporting unveiled that Cuba’s sole internet provider functions on Huawei, TP-Link, and ZTE. Another report by the Open Observatory of Network Interference found traces of Chinese code in the interfaces used for internet access portals in Cuba.

Freedom House gives Cuba a 22 out of 100 rating for internet freedom. The group explains that “Cuba has one of the lowest connectivity rates in the Western Hemisphere,” while regular internet access “remains extremely expensive, connections are poor, and authorities both monitor usage and work to direct traffic to the government-controlled intranet.” 

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