President Donald Trump released a message on Sunday commemorating Cuban Independence Day and taking aim at the country's communist regime.
The United States held control over Cuba following the Spanish-American War; however, the island nation became an independent country on May 20, 1902. In 1959, Communists led by Fidel Castro took control of the country.
"The twentieth of May marks the celebration of Cuban independence won by patriots who wished for individual freedom and the right of self-determination, both of which have been tragically snuffed out by a tired Communist regime," the message said. "Regardless, the brave people of Cuba continue to work—under continued oppression and extraordinarily difficult circumstances—to provide for their families and to restore human and civil rights."
The messaged honored the Cuban leaders that led Cuba to its independence.
"The names of great Cuban leaders who fought for independence, such as José Martí and Antonio Maceo, echo through history alongside names like Washington and Jefferson," the message said. "The legacy of these leaders continues to inspire and encourage all peoples to remain committed to the fight for democracy and the restoration of political, economic, and religious freedoms."
Trump finished his message by saying he hopes for Cuba to be free again.
"To the people of Cuba who yearn for true freedom, and to the Cuban-Americans who reside in the United States, Melania and I send our warmest wishes. On this special day, we remember the Cuban patriots who lit a flame of freedom that will never be fully extinguished as long as men and women can dream of a better tomorrow," Trump's message said. "Let us recommit ourselves to a better, freer future for the Cuban people."
Former President Barack Obama worked to reestablish formal relations between the United States and Cuba by making a presidential visit and by opening an embassy in Cuba. However, there have been attacks on American diplomats at the embassy in Cuba and human rights have yet to improve for the Cuban people.