At the end of last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent an open letter calling on business leaders around the world to support those fighting for freedom and democracy, and refuse to do business with the Cuban regime. The international business community must unite against dangerous dictators and put human rights above profits.
The letter is below.
Dear Business Leaders:
I write today to urge you to support those fighting for freedom and democracy in Latin America, and to thank you for all you do to create jobs, expand international trade and drive competition across the globe. I am focused on creating opportunity and prosperity because I grew up poor and my parents struggled to find work. A job gave them, and ultimately myself, a chance at success. You play an important role in giving so many that same opportunity, and for that, I want to say thank you.
I am concerned about the growing threat the brutal Cuban dictatorship poses to Latin America. The Castro regime in Cuba harbors terrorist groups, does not hold free and fair elections, threatens and arbitrarily arrests critics, journalists and political activists, and exports this repression by propping up other ruthless dictators, like Maduro in Venezuela and Ortega in Nicaragua.
We understand the value and importance of freedom in our everyday lives, and it is our duty to support and stand up for those who are oppressed by dictators and denied the right to live freely. In my state of Florida, we have stood against dictators like Castro and Maduro, and it is my hope that all businesses – in the United States and abroad – will join us in this fight.
Operating and doing business in Cuba not only supports a regime that commits atrocious human rights violations, but it is an intrinsically dangerous business practice that does not pose a financial benefit when compared with other countries in our hemisphere. The regime is known for forced labor and confiscating goods and properties of its own citizens, and that is a risk that any company assumes in the country. When you enter into a commercial deal with a Cuban “business,” you are essentially benefitting the Cuban Communist Party. The corrupt government and its military control all business dealings, investments and profits in the country.
Businesses around the world must unite against dangerous dictators and put human rights above profits. I urge you to support those fighting for freedom and democracy, and refuse to do business with the dangerous Cuban regime. Together, we must take action to weaken the Cuban regime and cut off the funds they use to hold on to power.
I look forward to your support and commitment to work to end the Cuban regime’s decades of oppression and ongoing threat to international security.