Latest News 09-03-2024 00:02 7 Views

WATCH: GOP lawmakers confront leftist protesters who interrupt anti-communism event

House Republican lawmakers confronted a small group of leftist protesters on Thursday after the activists attempted to interrupt their press conference urging President Biden to keep Cuba’s terror designation in place.

Four Cuban-American lawmakers – Reps. Maria Salazar, R-Fla., Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla. – were just minutes into their press conference outside the U.S. Capitol when two members of the group Code Pink and one other person abruptly stepped in front.

The protesters were holding signs that said, 'Take Cuba off Terror List' and refused to move from the area in front of the lawmakers’ display when asked.

'I wish the average Cuban could have the same privilege that you’re having right now,' Salazar told the activists. One shot back, 'Well, thank you for giving us the privilege.'

Salazar continued, 'You know, I love this, because if we traveled to Cuba now, and you and I go … you will not be able to come close this close to the Capitol and speak your mind and have a dialogue like we could be having right now, because they will either put you in jail or put you back on a plane back to Miami.'

'Isn’t it beautiful over there?' the protester replied.

Code Pink is an antiwar group that has staged several demonstrations in and around the U.S. Capitol complex in the wake of Israel’s war in Gaza. 

Malliotakis, whose mother is a Cuban refugee, pointed out that Cuba has close ties to Iran, which backs groups like Hamas.

'Instead of standing here protesting our press conference, you should be at the southern border, or maybe standing at the other side of the ocean where we're seeing Cubans fleeing in makeshift rafts,' she said. 'And maybe you can learn about what's actually happening in communist Cuba, because you're using a privilege that we only have here in the United States and the Cuban people do not have.'

'You will be jailed, you will be beaten, you will be killed, if you do what you're doing right here, protesting in freedom, if you do it in Cuba. . . . It's ironic that we stand here with signs supporting a communist regime that does all those things.'

At one point, another protester holding a Spanish-language sign got close to lawmakers, prompting police officers to attempt to intervene. The House Republicans stopped her from being taken away and instead asked her to move to a space that didn’t raise security concerns.

The demonstrators did not move for the duration of the press conference.

At least one of them appeared to be Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin, who has been seen in the halls of Congress in recent weeks participating in various protests, including a Gaza ceasefire demonstration with progressive activist and actress Susan Sarandon.

Malliotakis called her a 'professional agitator.'

Benjamin confirmed her attendance at the event and said in a statement to Fox News Digital: 'Politicians like these have been pushing the same tired position for over 70 years, and the only result has been impoverishment of the Cuban people. If they really cared a whit about Cuban families, they would call for measures to ease shortages, including lifting sanctions and taking Cuba off the terror list.'

Cuba was designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1982 'because of its long history of providing advice, safe haven, communications, training, and financial support to guerrilla groups and individual terrorists,' according to the U.S. State Department.


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