AG Moody urges Treasury to stop aiding Cuba’s communist agenda


() – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on Thursday urged U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to halt the agency’s “sustained support of Cuba’s communist interests.”

This call came after Cuban-American lawmakers raised concerns about Chinese spies in Cuba, reportedly targeting Cuban-Americans, and the Biden administration permitting Cuban regime officials to tour TSA facilities at Miami International Airport.

The appeal also followed a former U.S. diplomat in Miami pleading guilty to charges of acting as a secret agent for the Cuban government.

Moody’s concerns center around the Treasury Department’s recent regulatory changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR). These changes allow Cuban nationals identifying as “independent private sector entrepreneurs” to open and use U.S. bank accounts, regardless of their residency status in the U.S. Additionally, they authorize “U-Turn” transactions, reversing a 2019 ban by the Treasury Department on the practice.

The prior administration had banned such transactions to prevent Cuba from accessing hard currency and to curb the Cuban government’s negative actions while still supporting the Cuban populace.

Moody argues that the current policies benefit Cuba and defy reason and common sense.

“President Biden continues to be manipulated by the Castro regime, and now for the first time in over 60 years, the U.S. will open its banking institutions to those who may bolster or be affiliated with the Communist dictatorship,” Moody stated. “These ill-conceived amendments will likely do little to alleviate the suffering of the Cuban people and will only strengthen those bad actors who keep the Cuban people oppressed.”

Florida, home to the largest Cuban population in the U.S. primarily located in Miami, has seen many Cubans fleeing persecution from the Cuban communist regime. Moody contends that the CACR amendments may aid the oppressors more than the oppressed.

Last year, despite the Biden administration contemplating the CACR amendments, strong opposition from Congress members and the Cuban American community halted their implementation. They argued that there is no genuine free enterprise in communist Cuba and any “entrepreneurs” are under the regime’s complete control.

The current CACR amendments do not mandate Cuban nationals to prove they are not linked to the communist government when using U.S. bank accounts.

Moody warned that this could allow businesses owned or controlled by relatives or associates of communist regime members to open accounts and infiltrate the American market under the guise of “independent private sector entrepreneurs.” Furthermore, allowing U-turn transactions would ensure more money flows into communist Cuba, making U.S. banking institutions attractive for money laundering to or from Cuba.

Cuba is designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Despite this, the Biden administration removed Cuba from a list of countries deemed uncooperative on counterterrorism efforts, Moody noted.

Cuban American Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Florida, along with other Florida lawmakers, have been vocal about Biden’s Cuba policies, including the TSA tour. In response, Gimenez introduced legislation to bar the TSA from granting sensitive security access to agents from countries designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism.

“You’d think it unnecessary and commonsense, but commonsense isn’t very common in the Biden Administration,” Gimenez remarked.

He also sent a letter, alongside Florida Republican U.S. Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and TSA Administrator David Pekoske, demanding answers regarding the Cuban TSA tour.

“Only under the Biden Administration would they allow a terrorist regime into our secure facilities at one of the busiest airports in America,” Rubio said, questioning DHS officials’ oversight.

Florida lawmakers indicated that this was the second instance under Mayorkas’ oversight where members of Cuba’s Communist Party were invited to tour U.S. facilities. In February 2023, the U.S. Coast Guard invited Cuban officials to visit USCG headquarters in Washington, D.C., and tour U.S. port facilities in Wilmington, North Carolina. Language was subsequently added to the fiscal 2024 National Defense Authorization Act to prohibit such tours in the future.

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