Diaz-Balart Condemns NAM Call for Increased Trade with Castro Dictatorship
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement in response to an announcement by the National Association of Manufacturers.
"Shamefully, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has called for an end to sanctions and the opening of unrestricted financial transactions with the Castro regime.
“Under U.S. law, sanctions end once basic conditions are met in Cuba, including the scheduling of free, fair elections, release of all political prisoners, and legalization of political parties, independent labor unions and independent press. Until those simple conditions are met, the commonsense sanctions in the law must continue.
“In totalitarian Cuba, the vast majority of the economy is run by the state, and key industries are controlled by the Cuban military. American businesses are not permitted to deal directly with Cuban individuals, but must do business with the Castro regime’s state-run monopolies that further anti-American objectives and oppress the Cuban people. For example, the Castro regime provides safe harbor to more than 70 fugitives from U.S. justice, including FBI’s “Top Ten Most Wanted Terrorist” Joanne Chesimard, admitted hijacker and alleged murderer Charles Hill, and terrorist bomb maker William Morales. In 2013, the regime was caught smuggling 240 tons of weapons to North Korea in the largest violation of international sanctions against that country to date. In February 2016, General James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, testified that the Castro regime remains one of the most serious intelligence threats against the United States. And last year, the Castro regime perpetrated at least 8,616 political arrests against pro-democracy and human rights activists. These are not activities that U.S. businesses should subsidize.
“Today, NAM wrongfully encourages U.S. businesses to deal directly with the Castro dictatorship and encourages their entanglement with a malevolent, anti-American dictatorship that brutally oppresses the Cuban people and threatens U.S. interests at every opportunity. I am disappointed that NAM has made such a misguided recommendation to its members.”