White House press secretary Jen Psaki would not say definitively that Cuban citizens were fleeing the island nation due to the communist regime.
Psaki hedged around the issue by saying that Cubans were “opposed to the oppression, to the mismanagement of the government,” but she stopped short of saying that the communist regime was the reason for the oppression and mismanagement. (RELATED: ‘I Don’t Think Anything About This Is Funny’: Doocy Presses Psaki On Texas Democrats Fleeing State)
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy noted that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had instructed Cubans not to attempt the journey by sea to the Florida coast and asked why.
Psaki said that the intent was to make sure that people followed the proper asylum application process before coming to the border, whether by land or by sea, rather than making the dangerous journey alone.
“As the administration tries to figure out the root causes of migration to the country, don’t we know that the reason people want to leave Cuba is because they don’t like communism?” Doocy asked. “As we are trying to figure out what the processes are for these people who want to leave Cuba.”
“I’m not sure what your question is,” Psaki replied. “Why are people leaving Cuba or what is the process for them getting here? I can explain either of them, but you tell me.” (RELATED: ‘Kowtow To The Far Left’: Kayleigh McEnany Says Biden Can’t Address ‘Root Cause’ In Cuba Without Angering His Own Party)
“Do you think people are leaving Cuba because they don’t like communism?” Doocy asked again.
“I think we’ve been pretty clear that we think people are leaving Cuba or not — leaving Cuba or protesting in the streets as well because they are opposed to the oppression, to the mismanagement of the government in the country,” Psaki said, adding, “We certainly support their right to protest and their efforts to speak out against the treatment in Cuba.”
Psaki went on to say that some programs that could offer relief to Cubans and Haitians were not available due to the actions of former President Donald Trump’s administration.
“We have said many times and I will reiterate, we support not just the role of protest and peaceful protests, we stand with the Cuban people in their call for freedom from both the pandemic and from decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime,” Psaki concluded.