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English/Español: Rubio and Colleagues Send Letter to Schumer and McConnell Urging Them Not Weaken U.S. Policy Towards Cuba

Mar 10, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) sent a letter to Leaders Schumer and McConnell urging them not to weaken U.S. policy towards Cuba amid the new administration. Specifically, the Senators indicated they would not consent to any legislation that would benefit the oppressive Cuban regime. In their letter, the Senators highlighted the importance of continuing “to promote freedom and democracy in Cuba and hold the Castro-Díaz Canel dictatorship accountable for its egregious human rights record, harboring of fugitives from American justice, smuggling of military weapons, trafficking of doctors and medical personnel and deny financial support to the military arm of this brutal dictatorship.”         

Rubio is the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Leaders Schumer and McConnell:            

We write to inform you of our objection to any motions or consent requests with regard to any legislation that seeks to amend our nation’s policy towards Cuba.  In order to support the people of Cuba, we must continue to promote freedom and democracy in Cuba and hold the Castro-Díaz Canel dictatorship accountable for its egregious human rights record, harboring of fugitives from American justice, smuggling of military weapons, trafficking of doctors and medical personnel and deny financial support to the military arm of this brutal dictatorship.             

For years, members of Congress have tried to weaken the longstanding U.S.-Cuba policy while ignoring the dictatorship’s abysmal human rights’ record.  The Trump Administration took positive steps to further restrict financial transactions to the Cuban military.  Undoing that progress now would set our advancements back. 

The Cuban regime continues to provide safe harbor to more than seventy fugitives who fled U.S. justice and its violations of international law are well-documented, including on human trafficking.  In 2019, the Cuban regime maintained an estimated 34,000 to 50,000 medical personnel in more than 60 countries under conditions that represent forced labor.  According to the State Department’s 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP), Cuba ranked Tier 3 for its record on human trafficking.  The report described the regime’s practice of withholding medical professionals’ passports, using minders to monitor their movements, threatening exile or retaliation against family members, and other abusive practices.

Given the importance of this issue to our constituents, many of whom were forced to flee the regime’s brutality and repression, the U.S. Congress cannot turn a blind eye to the plight of the Cuban people. Any efforts to weaken U.S. law would only finance the Cuban military and support their corrupt and oppressive policies.  We believe the Cuban people deserve no less than the most rudimentary foundations of a free society and therefore, we object to any motions or unanimous consent requests regarding legislation that amends U.S. law towards Cuba.   

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

RUBIO Y COLEGAS ENVÍAN CARTA A SCHUMER Y MCCONNELL INSTANDOLOS A NO DEBILITAR LA POLÍTICA DE EE.UU. HACIA CUBA

Washington, D.C. — Los senadores estadounidenses Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL) y Ted Cruz (R-TX) le enviaron una carta a los líderes Schumer y McConnell instándolos a no debilitar la política de EE.UU. hacia Cuba durante la nueva administración Biden. Específicamente, los senadores indicaron que no darían su consentimiento en cualquier legislación que beneficie al régimen opresivo de Cuba. En su misiva, los senadores destacaron la importancia de continuar “promoviendo la libertad y la democracia en Cuba y de responsabilizar a la dictadura de Castro-Díaz Canel por su atroz historial en temas de DD.HH., por albergar a fugitivos de la justicia de EE.UU., por contrabando de armas militares, y por la trata de personas con médicos y personal de la salud”.

El texto de la carta en inglés está aquí.

Rubio es el Miembro de Más Alto Rango del Subcomité sobre Hemisferio Occidental, Crimen Transnacional, Seguridad Civil, Democracia, Derechos Humanos y Asuntos Globales de la Mujer.