Salazar Leads Charge for CBSI Funding

Salazar Leads Charge for CBSI Funding

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
April 12, 2023

A bipartisan group of lawmakers have joined forces to pursue funding with the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI) Authorization Act. Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) leads the charge for CBSI funding alongside Tennessee Rep. Mark Green, M.D. (R) and New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D).

In a statement, the Florida Republican noted that “the Caribbean is a critical part of Miami’s economy, and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative provides the necessary structure for growth, stability, and security in the region.” Salazar also called on lawmakers to continue helping “our partners in the Caribbean to invest in resilient infrastructure, develop a workforce for the future, fight gangs and criminal activity, and oppose the malign influence of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela in the region.”

The bill tackles an issue that lawmakers have sought to address. Every fiscal year, the program is at the mercy of requiring reauthorization. To address the concern, Salazar’s bill is meant to “provide the program with greater long-term stability and authorize robust funding of $82 million per year for the next five years” according to a press release from her office.

Moreover, “the CBSI would include funding for Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.”

Lawmakers argue that the Caribbean is susceptible to the destabilizing effects of the drug trade, noting that “since its creation in 2010, the CBSI has been crucial in helping our partner nations in the Caribbean improve their capacity to combat transnational crime, violence, and the regional instability that has been caused by years of devastating hurricanes.”

The bill has also received support in the Senate. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D) and Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) have introduced the companion bill in the Senate.

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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