With the “Axis of Evil” and its influence in the Western Hemisphere continuing to swell throughout the region, Republican lawmakers, particularly Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, are attempting to curb the undue intervention of China, Russia, and Iran, and the threats to the U.S. they pose.
Leader McCarthy put together the Republican Party’s American Security Task Force which comprises four Florida members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Reps Greg Steube, Carlos Gimenez, John Rutherford, and Mario Diaz-Balart are the legislators McCarthy tapped to take on “issues that threaten our national security.”
McCarthy mentions violent crimes, cyberattacks, and the border crisis as key national security issues, but arguably the biggest threat to the U.S. is coming from Communist China and Russia, as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran.
These anti-democratic regimes have found a convenient launching pad in Dictator Nicolas Maduro’s once-Democratic country of Venezuela.
“Our adversaries work together all over the globe and we have seen adversaries like China and Russia working much closer together and working with countries like Cuba and Venezuela,” stated Rep. Steube. There are a number of other approaches that would protect U.S. national security, like working with our trade partners in the region, continuing sanctions against the Maduro regime, and ensuring that we take steps to prevent our adversaries from gaining a foothold in the region.”
Rep. Diaz-Balart, who sits on the Venezuela and Cuban caucuses in the House, spoke to The Floridian about the growing threat that these three countries directly pose to the U.S. because of positioning in Venezuela.
“What happens in Venezuela Is obviously crucial to the Venezuelan people, but it's also extremely important to the national security interests of the United States,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart. He added that These dictatorships have all helped Maduro evade U.S. sanctions and deepen its tentacles into illicit activities such as gold contraband and drug trafficking.
Días-Balart believes that these bad actors are all collaborating against the U.S. and helping maintain dictators like Maduro in power. “You are seeing all of the rogue players believing …that they have a green light…When bad players notice weakness, they take advantage of it,” he added.
The veteran legislator from Miami also believes that the U.S. cannot sit on the sidelines, adding that it needs to “go after” these nations “that are facilitating” Maduro’s criminal actions and the action of other bad players in the Hemisphere.
But while the Chinese, Russians, and the Iranians are the head “facilitators,” a group of “super facilitators” like Alex Saab are actively managing illicit networks of criminals throughout the region, all at the behest of Maduro.”
“You pressure those that are the problem, every way possible,” added Diaz-Balart before he asserted his support for keeping U.S. interests in Venezuela and the region.
Diaz-Balart believes that now is the time for the U.S. to push forward with more U.S. interests, not “retract.”
“When you have a serious national security threat right here in this hemisphere, because of the influence of Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and their facilitators, which are Russia and China, particularly China, this is not the time to retract,” concluded Diaz-Balart.