Mast Supports Military Action, Bank Sanctions Against Cartels

Mast Supports Military Action, Bank Sanctions Against Cartels

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
April 28, 2023

In January, Representatives Mike Waltz (R-FL) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) proposed using military action to take down the Mexican drug cartels. In April, former President Donald Trump endorsed the proposal. Now Representative Brian Mast (R-FL) has signaled his support but also suggested that Congress should additionally sanction the cartels' banks to "kick them in their money sack."

The Floridian spoke with Rep. Mast, where we asked if he agreed with designating the cartels as terrorist organizations and if military action against them is justified.

"It doesn't bother me at all, military force that's used against the cartels," said Rep. Mast, "I think there's some wisdom in it, depending on which side of the border it is that you're working on."

By this, Mast referred to corruption within the Mexican police forces, which can potentially hamper operations.

As such, this makes Mast the second Florida Republican to endorse military action against the cartels, joined by Representative Greg Steube, who also told The Floridian that he is "100%" behind the idea.

On the other hand, he also stated that sanctioning the banks through which the cartels operate would have bipartisan support and deal a crippling blow to their operations since "it obviously hurts when you hit people in the wallet."

"There's another place that Congress can make a difference that I actually think would be bipartisan that Congress is not doing right now. There are substantial sanctions that we could put in place, and sometimes people roll their eyes when you say "sanctions" and that kind of thing, but it obviously hurts when you hit people in the wallet. One of the places that we're not sanctioning is all of the cartel banks, as one of those examples. So if you think about the banks that are doing all of the money for human trafficking, fentanyl, and everything related to moving people and product across the border, those banks aren't being sanctioned. That should be a bipartisan issue if we actually go out there and hit them in the wallet in a way that affects their ability to go out there and conduct operations," Mast continued.

As such, bank sanctions are on the House Foreign Affairs Committee's agenda, designed to "kick [the cartels] in the money sack."

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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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