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Trump Administration Expands the Cuba Restrictions List

November 15, 2018 - 8:45am

After National Security Advisor John Bolton came to Miami at the start of the month to announced additional restrictions on the Cuban regime, this week, the U.S. State Department expanded the list, adding around 30 new businesses and organizations facing restrictions. 

The State Department released the updated “list of entities and subentities under the control of, or acting for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit such services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba.” Many of the new additions are hotels based in Cuba. 

The additions garnered the applause of U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., who weighed in on the matter on Wednesday afternoon. 

“Just as National Security Advisor Ambassador John R. Bolton promised in his speech at the Freedom Tower in Miami earlier this month, the State Department updated its ‘Cuba Restricted List’ to add approximately thirty more entities and subentities associated with the Cuban regime’s military, intelligence, or security services. These restrictions prohibit financial transactions that would channel funds to the regime’s repressive military,” Diaz-Balart said. 

Diaz-Balart has been more willing to praise President Donald Trump than the other two Republicans representing Miami in Congress--retiring U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo who lost his bid for a third term last week--and he cheered the president on Wednesday. 

“Echoing what President Trump promised in Miami a year ago, Ambassador Bolton said, ‘the United States will not prop up a military monopoly that abuses the citizens of Cuba.’  Ambassador Bolton also said that the president’s security directive of June 2017 ‘was just the beginning of our effort to pressure the Cuban regime,’” Diaz-Balart said.   “I welcome the Trump administration’s increased sanctions against the Cuban military, and today’s addition of more entities to the Cuba Restricted List.  It is crucial that democracy, human rights and liberty remain central to our U.S.-Cuba policy.  Tight sanctions must remain in place until all political prisoners are liberated, independent media, political parties, and labor unions are legalized, and free, multiparty elections are scheduled. I look forward to continuing to work with the administration in furthering the cause of freedom for the Cuban people by closing loopholes and ensuring that U.S. dollars do not enable their oppressors.”

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