While cheering the Trump administration’s decision last week to revoke Marriott International’s license to operate in Cuba, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., called for tougher action against that nation’s communist regime.
Insisting he is “focused on securing a stronger and more vibrant Latin America – with the understanding that ending the Cuban dictatorship will lead to greater stability and freedom for the entire region,” Scott said the Trump administration needs to do more to hold the Cuban regime accountable.
“I applaud the Trump administration for taking important steps to hold the Cuban regime accountable, and for their commitment to freedom and democracy in our hemisphere,” Scott said on Monday. “The decision to revoke Marriott International’s license to operate in Cuba sends a clear message that the United States is committed to fighting for a new day of freedom for Cuba and its people. The violence, instability and chaos we see in Latin America is directly tied to the oppressive Cuban regime, which continues to prop up dangerous dictators throughout the region, including Maduro in Venezuela and Ortega in Nicaragua. All U.S. companies should think twice before investing in Cuba.
“Limiting the flow of money to Cuba and implementing more sanctions is critical to freeing Venezuela and protecting the national security of the United States,” Scott added. “Today, I am urging the administration to take a number of steps against the Cuban regime to continue the right for freedom.”
Scott urged the administration to take the following steps to hold the Cuban regime accountable:
Reinstate Cuba to the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism: Cuba continues to oppress its people and those across Latin America by supporting narco-states run by dictators like Maduro and Ortega, while harboring terrorist groups such as the ELN. Reinstating Cuba to the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism will signal to the global community that the U.S. will not tolerate rogue nations that oppress their people and destabilize the Western Hemisphere.
Begin the process to indict Raul Castro for the murder of American citizens: It is well documented that Raul Castro ordered the 1996 shootdown of the Brothers to the Rescue, which killed three U.S. citizens and a legal resident of the United States. Scott is urging the Trump administration to declassify all material related to this tragedy and bring Raul Castro to justice.
Deny entry to the United States to anyone involved or complicit in human rights violations in Cuba: The United States must deny entry to the country, revoke visas or residency status to anyone involved or complicit in human rights violations perpetrated by the Cuban regime.
Expose and sanction countries complicit in Cuba’s human trafficking practices: The State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report should include countries that request and participate in Cuba’s Medical Mission Program, which forces doctors to work with little to no pay. This program forces medical professionals to work under coercive conditions while being paid a mere fraction of the revenues that the regime makes in this profit-scheme. Any country that requests medical assistance from Cuba is actively engaging in human trafficking and should be reflected in the TIP report ranking.
Continued enforcement of Title IV of the Libertad Act: The administration has taken important steps on the enforcement of Title IV of the Libertad Act. Scott is encouraging continued robust enforcement to send a clear message that the United States condemns the trafficking of stolen properties.
Continue to revoke licenses to U.S. Companies Operating in Cuba: Scott is urging the administration to thoroughly review all current U.S. companies with OFAC licenses operating in the country and revoke their operating licenses immediately.<
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.