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President Joe Biden’s policy towards Latin America was harshly criticized on Thursday by Republican congress members, who demanded that he stop supporting dictatorships in those countries and defend the struggle for freedom and democracy there.
At a press conference outside the White House, Rick Scott, Senator from Florida, said that the president of the U.S. is the leader of the free world and that he needs to start acting like one. He also added that our hemisphere is becoming a more dangerous place because of Biden’s weakness.
The position of the Democratic Administration towards countries such as Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Colombia was the focus of his attacks and those of other community leaders in that state, who hoped that the midterm elections on November 8th would give power in Congress to the Republicans and mark the beginning of change.
Join Sen. Rick Scott, Sen. Marco Rubio and Representatives Mario Díaz-Balart, María Salazar and Carlos Giménez, as well as Hispanic community leaders from Florida, for a major announcement about U.S. policy toward Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Colombia. https://t.co/wOKbgvnjZY
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) September 15, 2022
For Scott, the first thing Biden should do is to introduce the restrictions and sanctions on Cuba that dated back to Donald Trump’s term (2017-2021) and were partially lifted last May.
It was also demanded that Biden close the Cuban embassy in Washington —which reopened in 2015— and for him to add the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) back on the list of terrorist organizations since it was removed in 2021.
Likewise, the Hispanic leaders also saw it essential to block the assets of all those implicated in human rights violations and corruption in countries such as Nicaragua or Venezuela. They noted that preventing them from accessing U.S. funds or banks is necessary.
Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar rightly called for more pressure on the Biden administration to economically suffocate Daniel Ortega’s dictatorship.
“The question is: what is the Biden administration doing to stop Daniel Ortega, the dictator of Nicaragua? As a congresswoman, representative of district number 27, the city of Miami, where we have hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans who fled oppression, I fought hard and I was able to pass a law by the name of RENACER, the RENACER act, and that is law right now. What does it do? It puts sanctions on Ortega’s henchmen, it cuts off international financing to his regime, and ends our trade with Nicaragua. Now, the president Biden has the tools to break Ortrega’s economy; he needs to use them because the law is there.”
The roadmap for redirecting U.S. policy in that region included revoking the licenses of companies operating in Cuba and Venezuela, whether they are an airline, a cruise line, or an oil company.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio said that just two years ago, with Trump at the helm, the White House was where pro-democracy activism was being done. He also asserted that supporters of those dictatorial regimes are now running the country’s foreign policy.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart stated that the joint appeal calls on the Democratic leader to wake up. He added that Biden is actively aiding these dictatorships and abandoning those fighting for their freedoms. He noted that this is destructive not only to those noble communities but also a danger to the national security of the U.S.