Last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., brought back a proposal to “hold the illegitimate communist Cuban regime accountable through severe sanctions and unprecedented financial pressure.”
Scott and Donalds reintroduced the “Denying Earnings to the Military Oligarchy in Cuba and Restricting Activities of the Cuban Intelligence Apparatus (DEMOCRACIA) Act.”
Among the co-sponsors are U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart and María Elvira Salazar.
“For decades, Cuba has been the root of instability in Latin America and a constant threat to the national security of the United States. The illegitimate, communist Castro/Diaz-Canel regime harbors terrorist groups, has eliminated free and fair elections, threatens and arbitrarily arrests critics, journalists and political activists, and props up other ruthless dictators, like Maduro in Venezuela and Ortega in Nicaragua while providing a foothold in Latin American for Russia, Iran and Communist China to spread their influence. As the Cuban people’s fight for freedom from the oppressive and illegitimate communist Cuban regime continues, the United States must stand with the Cuban people. This year alone, a significant influx of migrants from Cuba have illegally entered Florida. We know that a free and prosperous Cuba would liberate the Cuban people and eliminate the source of socialist cancer in our Hemisphere. The DEMOCRACIA Act implements severe sanctions against Communist Cuba and closes existing sanctions gaps. The bill makes clear that the United States will not sit on the sidelines during this critical fight. It’s time for President Biden to stop his failed appeasement and punish the communist regime for its crimes. I urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to immediately take up and pass the DEMOCRACIA Act and send a clear message to President Biden that the time for strength in the fight for freedom in Cuba is now,” Scott said.
“For six decades, the Cuban people have faced unimaginable horrors that have denied their fundamental human rights, subjected them to imprisonment and abuse, and limited the prosperity of millions. This legislation targets the worst abusers in the authoritarian government accountable are their egregious human rights violations against democracy activists and reaffirms our commitment to freedom, liberty, and justice. The Cuban people need and deserve the full support of the United States in their relentless and righteous fight for liberation from the Communist Cuban regime,” Donalds said.
“Expanding from existing legislation, the DEMOCRACIA Act seeks to impose a cost on individuals who continue to oppress the people of Cuba. From their puppet leader, Díaz-Canel, to their GAESA cronies, the Cuban dictatorship has continued to illegally enrich itself while everyday Cubans remain targets of oppression, censorship, and human rights violations. As a State Sponsor of Terrorism, the Castro/Díaz-Canel dictatorship continues to threaten our regional stability through their active support of anti-democratic regimes in our hemisphere,”
“As the daughter of Cuban exiles, I am committed to fighting against the murderous regime that forced so many of us to flee. The DEMOCRACIA Act will ensure that any foreign company choosing to do business with the Castro regime will be blocked from doing business with the United States. We will not stand idly by as foreign businesses supply oxygen to a brutal dictatorship. The United States must not do business with dictators,” said Salazar.
“I am proud to, once again, join my colleagues in this crucial legislation to impose tough sanctions on those who enrich the murderous, oppressive, and anti-American Cuban dictatorship. As brave pro-democracy and human rights activists continue to face brutality, imprisonment, and repression for simply demanding freedom, this legislation will deny resources to the regime’s machinery of oppression, including the Cuban military and state security. I commend my colleagues, Congressman Byron Donalds and Senator Rick Scott, for their leadership in holding human rights abusers accountable, and for their strong solidarity with the Cuban people,” said Diaz-Balart.
The proposal gives the president more authority to impose sanctions on individuals and companies working with the Cuban regime, including the defense, security and intelligence authorities. The bill would also have the White House offer “unrestricted, reliable internet service to the people of Cuba that is not censored or blocked by the Cuban regime” and create a task force on the matter.
Scott and Donalds first introduced the bill in October 2021.
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