Salazar, Gimenez, and Balart Host Conference Asking Biden Retain Cuba's State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation

Salazar, Gimenez, and Balart Host Conference Asking Biden Retain Cuba's State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
March 9, 2024

US Representatives Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), and Carlos Giménez (R-FL) held a press conference to claim Cuba must remain on the US State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list. 

The press conference comes at the heels of a recent trip to Cuba by some Democrat lawmakers. 

Last week, representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) traveled to Cuba during the Congressional recess to discuss human rights and its relationship with the United States.

The trip was heavily criticized by conservatives. 

Currently, there are four countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism. These include Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Iran, and Syria.

Being designated as a state sponsor of terrorism implicates a host of sanctions and restrictive laws. 

Sanctions include prohibiting certain relations with the US and penalizing persons and countries engaging in trade with the respective states. 

Representative Salazar emphasized the importance of maintaining Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. 

““The bottom line is we want for the Cubans what we have here in the United States: Freedom, liberty, human rights, and a free market economy,” said Rep. Salazar. “The Biden Administration and those of my colleagues who just went to Cuba must open their eyes, not drink the Kool-Aid, and not negotiate with the snake of the Cuban regime.”

Last year, Salazar introduced legislation to ensure Cuba retains its state sponsor of terrorism designation until certain conditions are met. 

The conditions require Cuba release all political presidents, transition to a democratic system of governance, and guarantee Cuban citizens basic human rights. 

Last December, a former US Ambassador was arrested in Miami for spying on the US for Cuban intelligence services. 

Ambassador Rocha was arrested after an FBI counterintelligence operation gathered substantial evidence pointing to Rocha’s involvement with Cuban intelligence services. 

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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