July 15, 2021



Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has called for US military intervention following a weekend of protests in Cuba, arguing that previous US attacks elsewhere – from Panama to Kosovo – have gone swimmingly. His idea was not popular.

Cuba, Suarez told Fox News during a Tuesday interview, is a threat to the US because it’s “exporting communism throughout the hemisphere.” Indeed, Suarez claimed, not only is Cuba “one of the largest narcotraficantes in the region, it is a state supporter of terror as designated by the United States.”

“[Cuba] is exporting communism throughout the hemisphere and throughout the world and has been doing it for decades and that is something that should interest the national security of the US,” the mayor said. He then suggested the US take out the Cuban government by some means similar to the 1990 arrest of notorious drug-trafficking Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, a US ally who lost his favored status after it was revealed that he had also passed intelligence to other countries, including Cuba, in defiance of Washington.

Suarez argued Panama had enjoyed decades of peaceful democracy since the removal of Noriega. Internationally, though, Panama has a questionable reputation as a tax haven for the wealthy, laid bare by the Panama Papers expose of 2018.

But it wasn’t just Panama, Suarez explained in a separate Fox interview on Tuesday – both political parties could get behind airstrikes. Just as the Republican Bush administration took out Noriega, “you had interventions by a Democratic president taking out Osama bin Laden in Pakistan […] And President Clinton in Kosovo intervening in a humanitarian issue with airstrikes. So there have been many, many opportunities in the history of…”

The mayor was then cut off by an incredulous Maria McCallum, who asked if he was indeed “suggesting airstrikes in Cuba.” Suarez did not avail himself of the chance to back down, telling the Fox host that military intervention should be on the table.

That option is one that has to be explored and cannot be discarded as one that is not on the table.

Suarez argued vehemently against any efforts by the Joe Biden administration to relax the embargo which has kept other countries from sending aid to the island nation since 1960, insisting that the Cuban government would use the incoming money against Washington. “They want to be able to blame the US for their failed system of government,” the mayor argued.

“Anything we do to try to help the island ultimately becomes fuel for them to repress their citizens,” he complained. He expanded on the subject in the other interview, arguing that the embargo was not “cruel,” while suggesting that the Cuban government alone, not the blockade Washington imposed on the island, is to blame for its economic plight.

While Miami’s large coalition of anti-Castro Cubans had marched in ‘solidarity’ with the protesters in Havana over the weekend, commentators on social media didn’t exactly come out in full force behind their mayor’s idea to bomb the city’s closest foreign neighbor. Indeed, precious few thought it was a good idea.

Some suggested the US should refrain from intervening in yet another country while barely out of the Afghanistan quagmire, while others flouted the idea of a “peaceful invasion.”

“Send food, medicine, engineers and social workers… not soldiers. Let’s have a peaceful invasion for once,” a Biden supporter tweeted.

Others simply expressed disbelief that such an idea was being uttered by the mayor of a major American city on live TV, or that anyone would back such a thing.

Some settled in for the latest round of regime-change bingo as US officials made it clear Cubans attempting to swim or boat their way to Florida would not be welcome.