Press Releases

Washington, D.C.–U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues, today in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, cautioned Obama Administration officials of the negative consequences of easing travel restrictions to Cuba.
“If you travel to Cuba, if you stay in a Cuban hotel, in all likelihood you’re staying in a hotel run by the Cuban military; if you rent a car, you’re renting it from the Cuban military; if you fill up your gas tank, you’re filling up from the Cuban military,” Rubio said. “And I would add that if you stay at a hotel, you are staying, in all likelihood, in a confiscated property, a land that was taken from a previous private owner, who was never compensated for it.
“In essence, when you travel to Cuba, and stay in one of these hotels, not only are you putting money in the hands of the Cuban government, you’re trafficking in stolen goods, because it is a property that belonged to a private holder, some of them American citizens, who were never compensated for it,” Rubio added. “So when we talk about increased travel to Cuba and more commerce with Cuba through travel, what we’re really talking about is increased business ties with the Cuban military.”
Rubio also touched on the differences in the human rights records of the U.S. and Cuba and asked questions about the Castro regime’s restrictions on the Cuban people’s access to Internet and technology on the island.
A video of the exchange is available here.