A policy position taken by President Joe Biden and his administration is leading some to believe that Democrats have essentially conceded the one-time battleground state of Florida to GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republicans.
As noted by ADN America News, a group of Republican lawmakers is lashing out at the administration for easing Trump-era sanctions on the brutal Cuban communist dictatorship, which has led some observers to note the decision will alienate the millions of Cuban-American voters in the Sunshine State.
The report noted:
The statement comes in the wake of President Joe Biden’s decision to lift several restrictions put in place by the Trump administration, namely lifting the so-called remittance ‘cap’ of $1,000 per quarter, removing restrictions on flights between the U.S. and areas outside Havana and reinstating the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program. While individual ‘people to people’ travel will remain prohibited, some group travel under the educational travel category will be permissible.
Some restrictions from the Trump era will remain in place such as tourist travel and sanctions against Fincimex, the government-sponsored financial firm run by the Cuban military dictatorship. Still, the Biden administration reportedly “has engaged” in talks with the Cuban regime about another non-military entity for remittance processing. The Cuban Foreign Ministry called the Biden administration’s changes “positive but of a very limited scope.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price justified the decision in a statement, saying that easing Trump-imposed restrictions “will support donative remittances to Cuban entrepreneurs, both with the goal of further empowering families to support each other and for entrepreneurs to expand their businesses.”
The move by the Biden administration comes just 48 hours after the Cuban dictatorship criminalized more human rights activities, ADN America reported.
GOP lawmakers immediately slammed Biden’s decision, calling it a “betrayal” to Cubans who have suffered under the tyranny of the Castro regime and the administration of Miguel Diaz-Canel.
“During Cuba’s historic anti-regime protests last year, President Biden said ‘[t]he United States stands with the brave Cubans who have taken to the streets to oppose 62 years of repression under a communist regime.’ Yet today, while hundreds of activists remain unlawfully imprisoned, the White House is resurrecting President Obama’s failed policy of unilateral concessions to the Castro/Díaz-Canel criminal dictatorship,” the lawmakers said.
“Rather than supporting their pleas for freedom by expanding democracy programming, broadcasting, global diplomacy, and sanctions against their oppressors, the Biden White House is rewarding the Western Hemisphere’s longest-ruling communist dictatorship with high-level talks, easing sanctions, increased travel, and access to U.S. financial institutions. Appeasing Cuba’s murderous regime does not comply with the statutory requirements in U.S. law and undercuts America’s support for Cuba’s democratic opposition,” they added.
The letter was signed by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Jim Risch (R-ID), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Ted Cruz (R-TX), and U.S. Reps. U.S. Representatives Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Mark Green (R-TN), María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), and Carlos Giménez (R-FL).
“The Biden Administration’s repeated appeasement to the Cuban dictatorship is a betrayal of America’s commitment to human rights and freedom, and to the longsuffering Cuban people who are struggling for a genuine democratic transition,” the lawmakers concluded.
But that said, the Biden administration’s decision is being seen as a win for Republicans.
“Biden has just surrendered Florida to the Republican Party,” said attorney and Inspire America Chairman Marcell Felipe, who is also developing a democracy transition plan for the island.
“Historically, every Democratic presidential candidate who gets 40 percent of the Cuban American vote wins the state and its electoral vote. Every Democratic candidate who has done it has done it by rejecting the policies the Biden administration announced yesterday. Even President Obama employed these after winning his second election. This decision is political suicide for Democrats in statewide races in Florida,” he added.