Florida Republicans Continue the Fight to Keep Cuba Listed as State Sponsor of Terrorism

Republicans in the Florida delegation are continuing their push to keep Cuba on the State Sponsor of Terrorism List.

In March 2021, Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–teamed up with U.S. Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., on the “Fighting Oppression until the Reign of Castro Ends (FORCE) Act” to keep Cuba on the State Sponsor of Terrorism List.

Salazar brought the bill back last week and noted that under her proposal, Cuba would stay on the State Sponsor of Terrorism List until it releases political prisoners, allows human rights organizations to investigate its prison and move towards a more democratic government.

“The totalitarian communist regime in Cuba is an ever-present national security threat to the United States,” said Salazar. “Aside from stealing the hopes and dreams of three generations of Cubans, the Castro regime continues to subsidize and provide financial and military support to bad actors across Latin America. The FORCE Act ensures that no Secretary of State or President can remove Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism until they meet the minimal requirements of a functional and free society. This legislation is not only important to the Cuban exile community of District 27, but to the thousands of my constituents who also come from countries directly subsidized by Havana.”

More than 20 House Republicans, including U.S. Reps. Kat Cammack, Mario Diaz-Balart, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Carlos Giménez, John Rutherford, Greg Steube and Michael Waltz are co-sponsoring the proposal.

“For 64 years, the murderous Castro regime has employed the use of terrorism to oppress the people of Cuba and intimidate its Latin-American neighbors across our Hemisphere. As the only Cuban-born Member of the 118th Congress, I’m proud to reintroduce the FORCE Act with Congresswoman Salazar to hold the Castro dictatorship accountable for its countless acts of terror,” said Giménez. “The Biden administration must keep the Castro regime on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism for harboring fugitives of the American justice system and for unlawfully sentencing thousands of political prisoners in kangaroo courts in the aftermath of the July 11th, 2021 Movement.”

“I’m proud to cosponsor this important legislation once again to ensure that Cuba remains on the State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST) list until it stops spreading its malevolence throughout our hemisphere, returns U.S. fugitives, and ends its brutal repression of the Cuban people,” said Díaz-Balart. “I commend my colleague, Rep. Salazar, for her continued work to hold the Cuban dictatorship accountable, promote freedom for the Cuban people, and protect our national security.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Over in the Senate, the bill continues to have the support of a member of the Florida delegation.

“Cuba has played a significant role in exploiting the United States by stoking instability across Latin America, supporting ruthless dictators like Nicolás Maduro and Daniel Ortega and driving mass migration that benefits the illegitimate regime and its evil allies in Communist China, Russia and Iran for decades. Sadly, the Obama-Biden appeasement policies have only made it worse, giving more power to the evil communist regime and funding the continued oppression, imprisonment and torture of hundreds of peaceful Cubans, including freedom activists like José Daniel Ferrer and teenage boys and girls. Removing Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism List before it is truly a free and democratic nation would be a dangerous misstep and a play right into the hands of evil dictators – we cannot let it happen. The Biden administration needs to ditch its shameful and failed appeasement agenda that is threatening America’s national security and standing in the way of progress and stability for the Cuban people and stability in our hemisphere,” said Scott.

Kevin Derby
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