Cuban-American Congress members from Florida introduced a bill this week that seeks to keep Cuba on the list of sponsors of terrorism following President Donald Trump’s decision to classify it as such just days before he leaves office.
“As the daughter of Cuban refugees who fled the brutal dictatorship that continues to imprison, starve, murder, and systematically oppress the people of Cuba, I am proud to introduce the bill,” said Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) on announcing the legislation.
Last Monday, the Trump Administration placed Cuba on the list of countries that the U.S. government considers to be sponsors of terrorism.
Trump made the decision days after Democrat Joe Biden took office and six years after former President Barack Obama removed Cuba from the list in 2015 as part of his policy of normalizing relations with the communist island.
The initiative is also sponsored by Republican Congressmen Mario Díaz-Balart and Carlos Giménez.
“This legislation ensures that Cuba remains on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism until it stops spreading its malevolence throughout our hemisphere and ends its brutal repression,” said Díaz-Balart.
“It is time for Congress to step forward and permanently name the Communist regime in Cuba as a state sponsor of terror,” added Giménez..
Should the bill pass through Congress, other governments, such as the incoming one, will not be able to exclude Cuba from that blacklist until there are changes on the island.
The FORCE Act (Fighting Oppression until the Reign of Castro Ends Act) is the first one presented by Salazar, who was elected last November by a district in South Florida.
The law holds the Castro regime responsible “for harboring fugitives from the U.S. justice system, propping up the regimes of (Nicolás) Maduro and (Daniel) Ortega in Venezuela and Nicaragua respectively and for participating in violent acts of terrorism” across the region.