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Florida Republicans Champion the International Port Security Enforcement Act

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This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., showcased the “International Port Security Enforcement Act.”

The bill “would ensure State Sponsors of Terrorism and Terrorist Organizations are prohibited from engaging with the Secretary of Homeland Security through the International Port Security Program.”

Gimenez joined U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., in sending a letter to the Biden administration.

“We are deeply concerned about the U.S. national security implications of allowing government officials with a known adversarial foreign intelligence service to access sensitive U.S. Federal Government facilities. Not only is Cuba still a U.S. designated State Sponsor of Terrorism along with North Korea, Iran, and Syria, but Cuba remains a chief counterintelligence threat. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence consistently identifies Cuba as a core and continuing counterintelligence mission, similar to Iran and North Korea,” they wrote. “Additionally, Cuba and Russia have continued to deepen bilateral relations, including in security cooperation, amplifying the threat to U.S. national security.”

“We strongly urge you to table the consideration of such a visit that ignores the Cuban regime’s brutality, its repression of its citizens, and its designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, while also exposing our nation’s port infrastructure to potential vulnerabilities and jeopardizing our national security,” they added.

Salazar and U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., were among the co-sponsors of Gimenez’s bill which was sent to the U.S. House Homeland Security and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.

Rubio introduced the companion measure in the upper chamber in the middle of March with U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., as a co-sponsor.

“It is beyond comprehension how the Biden administration could be so naive. Inviting agents of a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism to tour our security facilities is dumb and dangerous. The Cuban dictatorship is an enemy of the U.S. and actively aids tyrants worldwide. If this administration doesn’t stand up to the criminal Cuban regime, I will,” Rubio said.

Rubio’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.


  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

    View all posts

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