On Wednesday, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. Senate, urging them not to weaken U.S. policy towards Cuba amid the new administration.
Specifically, the senators indicated they would not consent to any legislation that would benefit the Cuban regime.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Leaders Schumer and McConnell:
We write to inform you of our objection to any motions or consent requests with regard to any legislation that seeks to amend our nation’s policy towards Cuba. In order to support the people of Cuba, we must continue to promote freedom and democracy in Cuba and hold the Castro-Díaz Canel dictatorship accountable for its egregious human rights record, harboring of fugitives from American justice, smuggling of military weapons, trafficking of doctors and medical personnel and deny financial support to the military arm of this brutal dictatorship.
For years, members of Congress have tried to weaken the longstanding U.S.-Cuba policy while ignoring the dictatorship’s abysmal human rights’ record. The Trump Administration took positive steps to further restrict financial transactions to the Cuban military. Undoing that progress now would set our advancements back.
The Cuban regime continues to provide safe harbor to more than seventy fugitives who fled U.S. justice and its violations of international law are well-documented, including on human trafficking. In 2019, the Cuban regime maintained an estimated 34,000 to 50,000 medical personnel in more than 60 countries under conditions that represent forced labor. According to the State Department’s 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP), Cuba ranked Tier 3 for its record on human trafficking. The report described the regime’s practice of withholding medical professionals’ passports, using minders to monitor their movements, threatening exile or retaliation against family members, and other abusive practices.
Given the importance of this issue to our constituents, many of whom were forced to flee the regime’s brutality and repression, the U.S. Congress cannot turn a blind eye to the plight of the Cuban people. Any efforts to weaken U.S. law would only finance the Cuban military and support their corrupt and oppressive policies. We believe the Cuban people deserve no less than the most rudimentary foundations of a free society and therefore, we object to any motions or unanimous consent requests regarding legislation that amends U.S. law towards Cuba.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.