Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement after the Senate adopted his amendment (#3097) to the Senate Budget Resolution that requires the Biden Administration to facilitate free, open, and uncensored access to the internet for the people of Cuba. Specifically, 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. “The technology exists to do this without delay, and I urge the Biden Administration to begin moving forward immediately.”
Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) joined Rubio in offering the amendment. Rubio spoke on the Senate floor prior to the vote.
In December 2020, Rubio warned the Biden Administration needed to prioritize internet access in Cuba:
“By contrast, a more responsible policy towards Cuba would follow in the footsteps of President Trump and advance policies meant to protect the fundamental rights of Cubans. In the coming years, that will particularly mean working to promote internet access on the island, so Cubans are better connected with independent sources of information.”
On July 12, one day after peaceful protests broke out across the island, Rubio urged President Biden to make it “an urgent priority of the United States to facilitate open and free satellite internet access on the island of Cuba.” It was a call he reiterated on the Senate floor the same day, and in a July 14 letter that outlined various options the Administration could take. Rubio’s office met with the White House and continues to speak with companies with the capabilities to help Cubans communicate freely. Rubio continued to push the Biden Administration to act throughout the month of July.