Scott, Donalds Introduce New Cuba Sanctions

Scott, Donalds Introduce New Cuba Sanctions

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
February 17, 2023

Republicans in Congress continue to push for action regarding Cuba. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), a long-time crusader for Cuban freedom, reintroduces the DEMOCRACIA Act in the Senate, while Rep. Byron Donalds, Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart introduce its House counterpart.

In his press release, Sen. Scott calls Cuba "the root of instability in Latin America and a constant threat to the national security of the United States." Moreover, in addition to its human rights abuses and harboring of terrorists, Cuba "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." Moreover, he criticizes the Biden administration's "failed appeasement" and says he must instead "punish the communist regime for its crimes."

As such, this bill imposes severe sanctions on the island dictatorship. The first described is denying entry into the United States to any person who "knowingly engages in an activity with Cuba’s defense sector, security sector, intelligence sector, or any other sector involved in carrying out human rights abuses or providing support for international terrorism."

Additionally, these sanctions will only lift for Cuba if they release all political prisoners, legalize all political parties, establishes a free press, and hosts legitimate elections.

Lastly, the DEMOCRACIA Act will authorize provision of reliable, unrestricted internet to Cuba with "all means possible."

Rep. Donalds is also quoted as saying "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;" adding that "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."

Similarly, Rep. Salazar says "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."

Finally, Rep. Diaz-Balart commends Cuba's dissidents and protestors, calling them "brave pro-democracy and human rights activists" who "continue to face brutality, imprisonment, and repression for simply demanding freedom." Thus, "this legislation will deny resources to the regime’s machinery of oppression, including the Cuban military and state security."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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