WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Florida senators are asking the Biden Administration to crack down on abuse and corruption in Latin America.
Senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio say President Joe Biden needs tougher policies in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Colombia.
“Nothing comes out of this White House that’s proactive on the cause of liberty and freedom in the region,” Rubio said.
They are pushing him to take a variety of steps, including putting targeted restrictions on people and businesses tied to abuses in the region.
“These actions would choke the profits these dictators use to finance their fear and tyranny,” Scott said.
They argue that Biden’s current policies threaten our country.
“He has made the United States less safe,” Scott said.
Biden is unlikely to take foreign policy advice from the two Florida senators, who are highlighting the issue just before the midterm elections.
Daniel Raisbeck is a Latin America policy expert with the CATO Institute who pointed out the political aspect of their advocacy.
“The vote in South Florida is very important in order to win that state, and of course, the Latin vote is crucial there,” Raisbeck said.
Despite the political motivations, he agrees that the Biden Administration could do a better job in the region.
“The best thing that the U.S. can do toward Latin America is open trade, have a lot more free trade and commerce in general,” Raisbeck said.
Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine says he also welcomes more focus on Latin America.
“It’s not that we’re too soft, it’s that we’re too inattentive,” Kaine said.
Raisbeck says we can’t lose sight of the impact Latin America has here at home.
“The poorer these countries are, the more human rights abuses there are the more people will want to leave and a lot of them will want to come to the U.S,” Raisbeck said.