Sen. Rick Scott: Only Reason to Let Cuba, Venezuela Dictators into U.S. Is to Arrest Them

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) speaks during a news conference after a closed-door lunch with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol on May 17, 2022 in Washington, DC. Over the weekend, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell led a group of Republicans Senators on a trip to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian …
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) told Breitbart News this week following a call for the U.S. to ban Latin American dictators from entering that country that the only “reasonable justification” for letting them in would be their arrest.

Scott made the comments in response to an inquiry regarding a letter he sent to President Joe Biden last week requesting that his administration deny visas to the dictators of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela — puppet president Miguel Díaz-Canel, Sandinista tyrant Daniel Ortega, and socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro, respectively — to enter America to attend next month’s United Nations General Assembly. The Assembly, typically held in September, grants the leaders of member states a platform to address the world on any issue of their choice, typically with a theme to prompt conversation.

The General Assembly this year will begin on September 13. The “general debate,” where heads of government offer addresses, is scheduled to begin on September 20.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro makes statements during a joint press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (not seen) after the bilateral and inter-delegation meetings in Ankara, Turkiye on June 08, 2022. (Photo by Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on June 08, 2022. (Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“Granting U.S. visas to Maduro, Diaz-Canel, Ortega or any of his representatives, would be a serious mistake and another tremendous failure of this administration in protecting the national security of the United States and to our fight for freedom and democracy in Latin America,” Scott told Breitbart News in a statement. “The United States should be the champion for freedom, but over and over again, when Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua most need the U.S. support, Biden chooses appeasement over the freedom, security and stability of our hemisphere.”

The Associated Press

In this Nov. 1, 2018, file photo, Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel arrives at Moscow’s Government Vnukovo airport for an official visit to Russia. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

“The only reasonable justification to allow these dictators or ANY of their representatives to enter the United States is to arrest them and their thugs once they are here,” the senator concluded.

Scott requested in a written letter dated August 24 that the Biden administration deny the corresponding visas for the dictators of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, as well as their delegations that seek to attend the general assembly.


Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega. (AFP)

As stipulated by the United Nations Charter and the agreement signed between the United States and the United Nations regarding the hosting of the Headquarters of the United Nations located in Manhattan, the United States grants corresponding entry visas to U.S. territory to representatives of U.N. member States to attend meetings of the principal and subsidiary organs of the United Nations.

U.S. Congress added a note to the 1947 hosting agreement that reads, “nothing in the agreement shall be construed as in any way diminishing, abridging, or weakening the right of the United States to safeguard its own security.”

The amendment has granted the United States a legal basis for previous U.N.-related visa denials, with examples such as Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist leader Yasser Arafat in 1988 and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in 2020.

In his letter to Biden, Scott wrote, “The U.S. must send a clear message of zero tolerance for these dictators’ oppression and human rights abuses. Allowing Díaz-Canel, Ortega, or Maduro — or their representatives — into the United States would afford them a legitimacy they have neither earned nor deserve.”

Delegations of United Nations member states have considered that the concept of universal jurisdiction — the ability of the domestic judicial systems of a state to investigate and prosecute certain crimes, even if they were not committed on its territory, by one of its nationals, or against one of its nationals — can be applied to the crimes of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The three dictators Scott identified have been accused of myriad human rights atrocities including religious repression, the torturing of citizens, the taking of prisoners of conscience, and using state violence to silence and kill dissidents.

Unlike genocide and war crimes, the concept of “crimes against humanity” has not been codified in a dedicated U.N. treaty of international law, but its prohibition is considered a peremptory norm of international law (meaning it is universally considered criminal).

The 1998 Rome Statute — which reflects the latest consensus among the international community on the matter — defines it as:

Any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: murder; extermination; enslavement; deportation or forcible transfer of population; imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law; torture; rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity; persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender; enforced disappearance of persons; the crime of apartheid; other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

Scott’s reasoning on denying entry to representatives of the communist Castro regime and its puppet president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, is based on the fact that Cuba is one of only four countries that the United States lists as a state sponsor of terrorism due to the communist regime’s ties with international terrorist organizations such as Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Shiite jihadist organization Hezbollah, and Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Marxist terrorist groups.

The Castro regime, which has faced a new wave of protests throughout August as its citizens are fed up with the blackouts and inhumane living conditions that they are being subjected to, continuously submits its citizens to gross human rights violations that go as far as sentencing children to prison and beating up minors.

Miguel Díaz-Canel has not attended a U.N. General Assembly meeting since 2018, opting to send pre-recorded speeches since then that are mostly centered around blasting the United States and its foreign policy towards the Cuban communist regime.

In the case of Nicaragua’s Sandinista regime and its dictator, Daniel Ortega, Sen. Scott notes the fact that the Biden administration has placed a ban on all members of the Ortega regime from entering the United States following the results of Nicaragua’s rigged elections in November 2021. In 2021, Daniel Ortega, opted to send his Foreign Affairs Minister to lead Nicaragua’s delegation.

The Ortega regime, on which the United Nations has recently issued a report of its human rights violations, has dramatically ramped up their persecution of the Catholic Church throughout 2022, banishing the representative of the papal nuncio in the country in March, placing a Bishop critical of the regime on house arrest, and closing down Catholic television channels and radio stations throughout the year.

As for the socialist regime of Venezuela and their dictator, Nicolás Maduro, the United States does not recognize Maduro’s presidency following the sham elections held in 2018 and instead recognizes Juan Guaidó as the nation’s legitimate president.

The U.S. Department of State currently has an active $15 million bounty for information that can lead to Maduro’s arrest after the U.S. Justice Department charged Maduro and other members of his regime with drug trafficking crimes. Despite the bounty, Maduro has expressed his intention to travel to the United States in the past.

Venezuela’s socialist regime has shared deep ties with Colombia’s FARC Marxist terrorist group since the days of Hugo Chávez, ties that continued under Maduro once he assumed the presidency in 2013 following Chavez’s death.

The United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) published a report in 2020 stating that its Independent International Fact-Finding mission “found reasonable grounds” to accuse the Maduro regime of crimes against humanity, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and torture via techniques such as electric shocks, genital mutilation, and asphyxiation.

In a similar manner, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced in 2020 that it had found “a reasonable basis to believe” that Venezuela’s socialist regime has committed crimes against humanity. In 2019, a Venezuelan NGO reported the mass killing of nearly 1,500 children by Maduro’s forces during 2018.

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.


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