Rubio unveils bill to block US money from going to Cuba's military

Rubio unveils bill to block US money from going to Cuba's military
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Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump GOP senators work to get Trump on board with new disaster aid package MORE (R-Fla.) on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would prohibit U.S. financial transactions with Cuban military and security services.

The Cuban American, who’s running for president, has staunchly opposed President Obama’s new policy to normalize relations with the Communist-ruled island.

“It is not in the interest of the United States or the people of Cuba for the U.S. to become a financier of the Castro regime’s brutality,” Rubio said in a statement.

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“The Cuban Military Transparency Act would prevent U.S. dollars from getting into the hands of the Cuban military and would demand accountability from the Obama Administration regarding fugitives of American justice in Cuba, the return of stolen and uncompensated property and the role of the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior in Cuba,” he added.

Rubio’s 14-page bill would identify and deny any financial transactions to the Cuban regime’s military and its subdivisions as well as leadership.

The bill would direct the attorney general to collaborate with Interpol, which facilitates international police cooperation, regarding the capture of U.S. fugitives in Cuba.

It would also modify a rewards program at the State Department to include the arrest or conviction of people responsible for an attack on U.S. planes in February 1996 that left four people dead. The two small planes were reportedly shot down by Cuban fighters over Havana.

The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

Rubio’s measure also comes just days after he threatened to oppose any new U.S. ambassador to Cuba unless certain conditions are met by the State Department.

It also comes as House Republicans try to undermine Obama's new policy toward Cuba by using the power of the purse. Some of their appropriations bills would limit travel from the United States to Cuba, limit exports to Cuba and prohibit funds for the creation of a new U.S. embassy on the island.