Senate Dem expresses concern over lifting restrictions on Cuba rum, cigars
By Vicki Needham - 10/14/16 05:34 PM EDT
Sen. Bob Menendez expressed concern on Friday that the Obama
administration is overstepping its authority by lifting restrictions on
Cuban rum and cigars.
The New Jersey Democrat, who has criticized President Obama for
reestablishing relations with the Communist nation, said the White House
is wrong about what will help the Cuban people.
"The administration has announced new regulations that blatantly violate
the laws of the United States in a legacy-attempt to further normalize
relations with Cuba in the next 100 days, supposedly to benefit
businesses, but the only beneficiaries of the administration's
legacy-largesse are the Castros themselves," Melendez said in a statement.
He said the change in policy violates the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992
and the Cuban Liberty and the Libertad Act of 1996, which he said
codified the embargo against Cuba.
"While the administration may not like the embargo or agree with it, it
remains the law of the land," Menendez said.
"At the end of the day, it is outrageous that our own government would
seek to break the law and blatantly acknowledge its intent to do so," he
The latest change by the White House lifts the $100 cap on cigars and
alcohol that U.S. travelers can take home.
Menendez argues that the Castro regime has gotten stronger since
U.S.-Cuba policy began to change two years ago.
"Today's regulatory economic changes from the White House not only
benefit state-owned Cuban businesses and bolster the coffers of the
Castro regime, but mark a profound shift away from our own commitment to
the rule of law and the processes of democracy as we have always known
them," he said.
Travel restrictions to the island still exist and Americans tourist can
only go there for educational or journalistic purposes and to visit
family, among other reasons.
Source: Senate Dem expresses concern over lifting restrictions on Cuba
rum, cigars | TheHill -