Menendez: New Cuba Regs Contravene U.S. Law, Will of Congress

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Menendez on Announcement to Enhance Commerce with Cuban Regime

US Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) today issued the following statement regarding the latest announcement by the Obama administration to lift restrictions that allow the financing of American exports to Cuba.

Today’s action by the Administration is a contravention of the law – the will of Congress, and the people who elected us, and a betrayal to those brave Cubans who have raised their voices in support of freedom, only to be silenced by a regime we are now helping.  Put simply, exporting to Cuba means exporting to the regime and its state-owned enterprises solely controlled by the Castro family; it will do nothing to empower the Cuban people.  

Furthermore, U.S. law says that any Administration has the discretion to tighten sanctions, but none have the power to relax them, as press are widely reporting this Administration is doing for a third time since it announced a new U.S. approach to the Cuban regime last year. 

It is a lack of opportunity – not a change of heart – that had slowed the Castro’s regional adventurism and instability-inducing support for those who would pose threats to our national interest.  It is a lack of resources that was causing the regime to loosen its grip.  And, it will be these and any future U.S. supported lifelines the regime will use to reverse that course, solidify the dictatorship, and undermine the very values we have tried to support.  When taken in total, the sanctions relief we have seen over the last year sends more than just a message to the people we once supported.  It provides their oppressors the resources they need to tighten their grip.