Florida Attorney General Moody urges Treasury Department to cease backing ‘communist interests’ in Cuba

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has urged U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to put an end to the agency’s ongoing support of Cuba’s communist interests.

After Cuban-American lawmakers expressed concerns about Chinese spies operating in Cuba, particularly targeting Cuban-Americans, she took action. This came after the Biden administration allowed Cuban regime officials to visit TSA facilities at the Miami International Airport.

After a former U.S. diplomat in Miami pleaded guilty to charges of acting as a secret agent for the Cuban government, she also followed suit.

The Treasury Department has recently introduced new regulatory changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) known as the CACR amendments. These amendments now allow Cuban nationals who identify as “independent private sector entrepreneurs” to open and use U.S. bank accounts, regardless of whether they reside in the U.S. Additionally, the amendments also reinstate the authorization of “U-Turn” transactions, which were previously banned by the Treasury Department in 2019.

The previous administration implemented a ban on these transactions in order to prevent Cuba from gaining access to hard currency and to address the Cuban government’s unfavorable actions while still providing support to the enduring Cuban population.

Moody argues that the existing policies favor Cuba and contradict rational opposition and common sense.

According to Moody, President Biden is still being influenced by the Castro regime. Moody believes that for the first time in over 60 years, the US is allowing its banking institutions to be accessed by individuals who may support or have connections to the Communist dictatorship. Moody stated that these amendments are poorly conceived and will likely not alleviate the suffering of the Cuban people. Instead, they will only empower the oppressive forces that continue to suppress the Cuban population.

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Florida boasts the largest Cuban community in the United States, primarily residing in Miami. These Cuban immigrants have sought refuge in Florida, escaping the oppressive Cuban communist regime. However, Moody contends that the CACR amendments could inadvertently benefit the oppressors rather than the oppressed.

The CACR amendments were under consideration by the Biden administration last year. However, they ultimately decided against implementing them due to opposition from members of Congress and the Cuban American community. These opponents argued that there is no genuine free enterprise in communist Cuba and that any individuals claiming to be “entrepreneurs” are actually under the complete control of the Cuban regime.

CACR amendments currently do not mandate that Cuban nationals who have U.S. bank accounts must provide evidence that they have no affiliations with the communist government.

Moody cautioned that the regulations may inadvertently enable businesses connected to communist regime members to exploit the American market by posing as independent private sector entrepreneurs. This loophole could lead to the infiltration of Cuban funds into U.S. banking institutions, potentially facilitating money laundering activities.

Cuba holds the designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. However, Moody points out that the Biden administration has made the decision to remove Cuba from the list of countries considered uncooperative in counterterrorism efforts.

Cuban American Representative Carlos Gimenez, a Republican from Florida, along with other lawmakers from Florida, has been raising concerns about President Biden’s policies towards Cuba, including the TSA tour. In light of this, Gimenez has proposed a legislation that aims to prohibit the TSA from granting security access to agents from countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism.

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According to him, the Biden Administration lacks common sense, which one would assume to be unnecessary but unfortunately uncommon.

He, along with Florida Republican U.S. Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and TSA Administrator David Pekoske, seeking answers about the Cuban TSA tour.

Senator Rubio criticized the Biden Administration for allowing a terrorist regime into one of the busiest airports in America. Expressing his concern, Rubio questioned the officials at the Department of Homeland Security about their apparent lack of awareness regarding this matter.

According to Florida lawmakers, the recent TSA tour marks the second occasion during Mayorkas’ tenure where members of Cuba’s Communist Party were invited to visit U.S. facilities. In February 2023, the U.S. Coast Guard extended a similar invitation to Cuban officials, allowing them to tour the USCG headquarters in Washington, D.C. and explore U.S. port facilities in Wilmington, North Carolina. As a result, the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act was amended to prevent any future tours of this nature.

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