Saturday, January 25, 2020

Republicans Aim to Block Embassy in Cuba

GOP

In an effort to block the Obama Administration’s rapprochement policy towards Cuba, Republicans in the House of Representatives on Tuesday proposed a bill funding the State Department for 2016 while blocking necessary funding for the establishment of a formal embassy and other diplomatic infrastructure projects that would lead to further ties with the Communist regime.

Citing human rights abuses by the Cuban government, House Republicans unveiled the bill with provisions aimed at preventing progress on the diplomatic mission in Havana beyond what facilities where in existence prior to President Obama’s December 2014 announcement of the Administration’s change in policy towards Cuba. The bill seeks not only to stymie the Obama Administration’s efforts to establish a formal embassy but would prevent the Secretary of State from issuing visas to members of the Communist Party or the Cuban military.

Within the roughly $48 billion bill, Republicans in opposition to the President’s policy change towards Cuba, such as Florida’s Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and other Cuban-Americans in Congress, have instead called for increased democratization assistance and international broadcasts into the island.

When asked about a potential timeline for continued normalization with the Cuban regime, Marie Harf, the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications stated that “we’ve had productive conversations. There are still some issues that need to be worked out. We don’t have more details about how that will happen.”

 

Latin Post, The Hill