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Miami Mayor calls for air strikes on Cuba

MIAMI Mayor Francis Suarez called today for US air strikes on Cuba as he pressed the case for military intervention to force regime change on the socialist Caribbean island.

He was speaking in an interview with right-wing US television channel Fox News when he called for the US forces to bomb Havana, citing previous examples of so-called “humanitarian intervention.”

“What should be contemplated right now is a coalition of potential military action in Cuba, similar to what has happened … in both Republican and Democrat administrations,” Mr Suarez said, citing the 1989 US invasion of Panama that deposed General Manuel Noriega.

That intervention was condemned as a violation of international law by both the United Nations and the Organisation of American States. 

According to the Central American Human Rights Commission, between 2,000 and 3,000 civilians were killed during the invasion, although this is disputed by Washington, which claims that the true figure is 202.

Mr Suarez went on to mention US forces “taking out Osama bin Laden in Pakistan” in a 2011 operation.

“It’s a sovereign country where they took out a terrorist. That saved thousands, if not probably hundreds of thousands, of lives.”

He also mentioned president Bill Clinton’s 1999 military action against Yugoslavia during the Kosovo war, calling it “intervening in a humanitarian issue with air strikes.”

When Mr Suarez was pressed on whether he was calling for air strikes against Cuba, he said that the “option is one that has to be explored and cannot be just simply discarded as an option that is not on the table.”

He added: “And there’s a variety of ways the military can do it, but that’s something that needs to be discussed, it needs to be looked at as a potential option, in addition to a variety of other options that can be discussed.”

Miami, in Florida, has long been used as a base to destabilise Cuba, with rich exiles plotting the downfall of its socialist government.

Havana has warned that outside elements are using the economic situation to try to sow discord, but large demonstrations have also been held in support of the Cuban revolution.

Many have dismissed US President Joe Biden’s expressions of concern for the Cuban people as hypocrisy, given his continued support for the six-decade-long US blockade that has cost the island’s economy $754 billion (£544bn) since 1959.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the globally trending hashtag SOSCuba had its origins in Florida, with digital outlets using expensive tools.

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