Republican Senators from Florida, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, presented this Monday a bicameral legislation proposal to strengthen sanctions against the Cuban military and officials involved in human rights violations
Under the name of Law of Denial of Income to the Military Oligarchy in Cuba and Restriction of Activities of the Cuban Intelligence Apparatus (DEMOCRACIA, for its acronym in English), the bill would hold “the illegitimate regime” responsible for human rights abuses and it would open up the possibility of imposing severe penalties and unprecedented financial pressure.
If approved, the legislation would authorize the president to impose sanctions on a foreign person if it is determined that he is knowingly participating in an activity related to the defense, security, intelligence or any other sectors that carries out abuses against human rights in Cuba, or support international terrorism. The sanctions would include measures such as the blocking of assets and the prohibition of entry into the United States.
Those who provide financial, material or technological support, or who participate in a significant transaction with the Cuban defense, security or intelligence sector or any entity or individual affiliated with that sector (including its immediate adult relative). Similarly, entities in which said individuals participate at 25% or more, would be subject to sanctions.
Likewise, it would authorize the president to impose sanctions regarding the abuse of human rights and corruption in Cuba, including members of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), including the Office of Religious Affairs and members of the Political Bureau and the Central Committee.
The Office of the President of Cuba, the members of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers, the MININT (including PNR), FAR and those responsible for the CDRs would be targeted for sanctions, should they be involved in human rights violations.
Any official of the Cuban regime who works with the Ministry of Justice or the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic and who violates the rights to due process of a person in Cuba, would enter the list of those punishable. The list is completed with the spouse and children of anyone who is blocked by the authorities, who would also be subject to sanctions.
Finally, the DEMOCRACY Law would authorize the president to put an end to these sanctions only if he certifies to Congress that the Cuban regime “has released all political prisoners, has legalized all political parties, has allowed a free press; and has scheduled free, fair and internationally observed multi-party elections in a timely manner.
Likewise, it would create the conditions for the president to immediately use all possible means to provide the Cuban people with a reliable and unrestricted Internet service that is not censored or blocked by the Cuban regime.
“By expanding existing legislation, the DEMOCRACY Law seeks to impose a cost on the people who continue to oppress the Cuban people,” stated Rubio, a high-level member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civil Security, Democracy. , Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues.
“From its puppet leader, Díaz-Canel, to his GAESA cronies, the Cuban dictatorship has continued to enrich itself illegally while everyday Cubans continue to be the target of oppression, censorship and human rights violations. As a state sponsor of terrorism, the Castro / Díaz-Canel dictatorship continues to threaten our regional stability through its active support for anti-democratic regimes in our hemisphere, ”he added.
For his part, Senator Scott stated that “for decades, Cuba has been the root of instability in Latin America and a constant threat to the national security of the United States,” in addition to offering shelter to terrorist groups.
“The Castro regime has eliminated free and fair elections, threatens and arbitrarily arrests critics, journalists and political activists, and supports other ruthless dictators, such as Maduro in Venezuela and Ortega in Nicaragua. As the Cuban people’s struggle to free themselves from the oppressive and illegitimate Cuban communist regime continues, the United States must defend Cuban democracy, ”proposed Scott.
The DEMOCRACY Law contemplates the imposition of “severe sanctions against communist Cuba and closes the existing sanctions gaps” and expresses the neighboring country’s political will not to remain indifferent to the repression exerted against civil society activists.
The Rubio and Scott proposed legislation were joined by Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) and Roger Marshall (R-KS). In the case of the congressmen, the deputies Byron Donalds (R-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Brian Babin (R-TX) y Alex Mooney (R-WV).
“This bipartisan legislation targets the worst abusers of the authoritarian government for their egregious human rights violations against democracy activists and reaffirms our commitment to liberty, liberty and justice. The Cuban people need and deserve the full support of the United States in their tireless and just struggle for the liberation of the Cuban communist regime, ”said Congressman Donalds.
“Today, my colleagues and I are introducing legislation to deny material support for the brutal, oppressive and anti-American Cuban dictatorship and to demand that the Biden Administration use whatever means available to provide Internet access to the Cuban people, which they have rejected. Until now, ”Díaz-Balart said. “While brave pro-democracy and human rights activists continue to demand freedom, and many remain in jail for daring to speak out against the regime, this legislation is critical to promoting a free and democratic Cuba. I congratulate my colleagues, Congressman Byron Donalds and Senator Rick Scott, for supporting the Cuban people. “