President Joe Biden’s efforts to win over the communist leaders in Cuba did not sit well with U.S. Sen. Rick Scott.
The Florida Republican, who recently called Biden “incoherent, incapacitated, and confused” and said he should resign, denounced Biden for “easing sanctions on the illegitimate communist Cuban regime,” according to a statement released by Scott’s office.
The GOP lawmaker labeled the move “disgusting,” and vowed to block all Biden nominees until the president reverses this decision.
“Joe Biden’s appeasement of the illegitimate communist Cuban regime is disgusting. The administration claims they are helping the people but have done nothing to secure the freedom of political prisoners like José Daniel Ferrer, who are subjected to physical and psychological torture in an attempt to end their life,” Scott said in a statement.
“Instead of standing with the freedom-loving people of Cuba, Joe Biden has shown weakness and cowardice – bowing to the demands of a murderous regime instead of standing for democracy and human rights. It is sickening and why I will be holding all relevant nominees that have been reported favorably by committees to the Senate Floor until the decision is reversed.”
Continuing, Scott added, “Biden can frame this however he wants, but this is the truth: this is nothing but an idiotic attempt to return to [President Barack] Obama’s failed appeasement policies and clear sign of support for the evil regime.”
“Maybe Joe Biden is hoping that he, like his pal Obama, will also get to sit front row with the regime at a baseball game.”
The changes implemented by Biden include approving flights to Cuban airports besides Havana; restarting a family reunification program; expanding a cap on remittances Cubans in the U.S. could send to the island, which had been set at $1,000 per quarter, and allowing the payments to go to non-family members; and taking steps to help Cuban entrepreneurs.
It’s unclear what Cuba’s communist leaders are expected to do in exchange for loosening restrictions, which were implemented by former President Donald Trump.
“There is no reasonable justification for this. It will funnel tons of cash to the regime and its military forces – giving it even more power to keep the Cuban people under its communist control. And the cost of this disastrous policy choice? More brutal oppression for the Cuban people,” Scott noted.
The senator cited the example of Sirley Ávila León.
After Obama cut a deal to relax U.S. sanctions on the Cuban government, Scott said, the secret police visited León bearing a machete. They chopped her hand off and stuck her arm in mud to force an infection. Scott said they did so because León spoke out about a school in her neighborhood being shut down.
“That’s the evil regime Joe Biden is cozying up to. Obama’s deal didn’t change the regime’s oppression and neither will Biden’s,” said Scott.
“This appeasement cannot stand and I will do everything in my power to fight it every single day.”