President Joe Biden (D) announced this week the United States will be loosening restrictions on Marxist countries, namely Cuba and Venezuela. Travel restrictions will be lightened to Cuba, flights will be authorized to Cuban cities outside of Havana, and travel will be permitted for educational purposes.
In reaction, Florida Republicans and Democrats have condemned the actions, saying that going soft on the dictatorial regimes will only embolden Castro and Maduro.
“I think we’ve seen this song before,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). “That is going to increase the amount of money that’s going to the dictatorship.”
Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R), who is of Cuban descent, took to Twitter and said that his concerns of emboldening the Cuban regime are already coming to fruition.
“The day after Biden lifts sanctions on the regime in #Cuba the regime mocks Biden by announcing that criticism of regime officials is now punishable by jail,” Rubio said.
The day after Biden lifts sanctions on the regime in #Cuba the regime mocks Biden by announcing that criticism of regime officials is now punishable by jail
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 18, 2022
Florida’s junior senator, Senator Rick Scott (R) called the move from the Biden administration “sickening.”
“This nothing but an idiotic attempt to return to Obama’s failed appeasement policies and clear sign of support for the evil regime,” Scott said, maintaining that “this appeasement cannot stand and I will do everything in my power to fight it every single day.”
Numerous Florida Democrats condemned Biden’s actions, including Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23).
“The Cuban pro-democracy movement needs America’s unwavering support, and the Biden Administration’s announced reinstatement of the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, while also opting to maintain the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List, will undoubtedly aid that fight for freedom. However, I remain unconvinced that easing group travel restrictions – even with new post-trip audits – will truly weaken this regime’s oppressive policies. In fact, it may enrich the Diaz-Canel dictatorship at a time when its Kremlin paymaster faces economic ruin.”
Florida State Senator Annette Taddeo (D-Miami), who is running for governor but is rumored to be dropping out for a congressional bid and whose family fled Colombia, has been very vocal in supporting pro-freedom Latin Americans in their fight against dictatorial regimes and condemned the move.
“There is no short-term economic gain worth negotiating with the murderous tyrannic Maduro regime,” said Taddeo. “There are ways to push for change in Venezuela that don’t involve coddling murderous dictators and weakening America’s standing in the world. The administration cannot give credibility to tyrants like Maduro and then wonder why Hispanic voters are departing our party in record numbers.”
However, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz is supportive of the Biden administration’s move.
“The measures announced today by the Biden administration are encouraging, especially for the thousands of families who remain separated because of the last administration’s draconian policy of practically cancelling migration accords and eliminating the Cuban Family Reunification Parole,” said Diaz, who fled Cuba with his mother.
Florida Democrats have previously sparred with the Biden administration over Latin American policies, and have acknowledged Florida’s Hispanic voters are fleeing the Democrat Party, which will likely be an inflection point in the 2022 gubernatorial election.
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