Menendez: Obama's Cuba Regs 'Blatantly Violate' U.S. Laws

Saturday, October 15, 2016
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) issued the following statement in reaction to the latest regulatory changes announced by the Obama administration regarding the U.S.–Cuba relationship:

Once again, the Administration has it wrong about what’s right for the people of Cuba. Today, the Administration has announced new regulations that blatantly violate the laws of the United States in a legacy-attempt to further normalize relations with Cuba in the next 100 days, supposedly to benefit businesses, but the only beneficiaries of the Administration’s legacy-largesse are the Castros themselves.

Since the announcement of the change in American policy toward Cuba nearly two years ago, the Castro regime has only grown stronger. It has continued its policies of repression, has continued to jail the Ladies in White, has continued to suppress the freedom of expression, and the promotion of anything resembling democracy.

Today’s regulatory economic changes from the White House not only benefit state-owned Cuban businesses and bolster the coffers of the Castro regime, but mark a profound shift away from our own commitment to the rule of law and the processes of democracy as we have always known them.

The new regulations simply and blatantly violate both the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992 and the Cuban Liberty and the Libertad Act of 1996, which codified the embargo against Cuba, and indicate that the United States government will now actively ‘authorize contracts and violations currently prohibited by the embargo.'

While the Administration may not like the embargo or agree with it, it remains the law of the land. At the end of the day, it is outrageous that our own government would seek to break the law and blatantly acknowledge its intent to do so.