Sen. Rick Scott Joins Rep. Maria Salazar in Announcing Reintroduction of FORCE Act to Keep Cuban Communist Regime on State Sponsor of Terrorism List

January 13, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Senator Rick Scott joined Representative María Elvira Salazar (FL-27) and their colleagues in announcing the reintroduction of their Fighting Oppression until the Reign of Castro Ends Act also known as the FORCE Act. This bill prevents President Biden from normalizing relations with the illegitimate, communist Cuban regime unless freedom and democracy are restored on the island.


Senator Rick Scott said, “Cuba has played a significant role in exploiting the United States by stoking instability across Latin America, supporting ruthless dictators like Nicolás Maduro and Daniel Ortega and driving mass migration that benefits the illegitimate regime and its evil allies in Communist China, Russia and Iran for decades. Sadly, the Obama-Biden appeasement policies have only made it worse, giving more power to the evil communist regime and funding the continued oppression, imprisonment and torture of hundreds of peaceful Cubans, including freedom activists like José Daniel Ferrer and teenage boys and girls. Removing Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism List before it is truly a free and democratic nation would be a dangerous misstep and a play right into the hands of evil dictators—we cannot let it happen. The Biden administration needs to ditch it’s shameful and failed appeasement agenda that is threatening America’s national security and standing in the way of progress and stability for the Cuban people and stability in our hemisphere.”


Representative María Elvira Salazar said, “The totalitarian communist regime in Cuba is an ever-present national security threat to the United States. Aside from stealing the hopes and dreams of three generations of Cubans, the Castro regime continues to subsidize and provide financial and military support to bad actors across Latin America. The FORCE Act ensures that no Secretary of State or President can remove Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism until they meet the minimal requirements of a functional and free society. This legislation is not only important to the Cuban exile community of District 27, but to the thousands of my constituents who also come from countries directly subsidized by Havana.”


Representative Carlos Giménez said, “For 64 years, the murderous Castro regime has employed the use of terrorism to oppress the people of Cuba and intimidate its Latin-American neighbors across our Hemisphere. As the only Cuban-born Member of the 118th Congress, I’m proud to reintroduce the FORCE Act with Congresswoman Salazar to hold the Castro dictatorship accountable for its countless acts of terror. The Biden Administration must keep the Castro regime on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism for harboring fugitives of the American justice system and for unlawfully sentencing thousands of political prisoners in kangaroo courts in the aftermath of the July 11th, 2021 Movement.”


Representative Mario Díaz-Balart said, "I'm proud to cosponsor this important legislation once again to ensure that Cuba remains on the State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST) list until it stops spreading its malevolence throughout our hemisphere, returns U.S. fugitives, and ends its brutal repression of the Cuban people. I commend my colleague, Rep. Salazar, for her continued work to hold the Cuban dictatorship accountable, promote freedom for the Cuban people, and protect our national security."


Representative Nicole Malliotakis said, “Sixty years ago, my mother fled Cuba because of Castro’s dictatorship and the vile acts his regime committed against the Cuban people. Although Castro has passed away, his oppressive and violent regime still exists today. I’m proud to join my Cuban colleagues in reintroducing the FORCE Act to hold the regime accountable for its terroristic acts and I look forward to our continued work to support the Cuban people and ensure the dangerous socialist policies our parents fled are never brought to pass in the United States.”


The FORCE Act prevents the Cuban communist regime from being removed from the State Sponsor of Terrorism List until they meet the requirements of Section 205 of the LIBERTAD Act, which requires Cuba to comply with the following conditions:


  1. Release all political prisoners and allow for investigations of Cuban prisons by appropriate international human rights organizations.
  2. Transition away from the Castro regime to a system that guarantees the rights of the Cuban people to express themselves freely.
  3. Commit to holding free and fair elections.


These conditions are the same requirements that must be met to lift the embargo and accompanying sanctions towards the regime, and would require the regime to comply with existing U.S. law.