In a statement on Monday, President Joe Biden said Cubans are responding to the "tragic grip of the pandemic" and "decades of repression and economic suffering."
"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," Biden said in a statement.
Q Jen, just to follow up on Cuba: Can you give us a sense of where the President’s policy review on Cuba is right now? Do you anticipate making any changes, as Jonathan asked? And where do you see it going from here?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I will say first — and I meant to say this in response to Jonathan — but there’s every indication that yesterday’s protests were spontaneous expressions of people who are exhausted with the Cuban government’s economic mismanagement and repression. And those — these are protests inspired by the harsh reality of everyday life in Cuba, not people in another country. I’m saying that because I think there have been a range of accusations out there, as you well know, Jeff.
In terms of our assessment of a future — our current pol- — our policy, I should say, it continues to be — our approach continues to be governed by two principles: First, support for democracy and human rights — which is going to continue to be at the core of our efforts — through empowering the Cuban people to determine their own future. Second, Americans, especially Cuban Americans, are the best ambassadors for freedom and prosperity in Cuba.
I don’t have anything to predict for you in terms of any policy shift. Obviously, given the protests were just happening over the last 24 to 48 hours, we’re assessing how we can be helpful directly to the people of Cuba in these circumstances.