House to expose TSA’s airport fiasco with Cuban agents as Latino vote up for grabs

Cuban agents were allowed to visit the Miami airport, TSA headquarters despite the country being on the state sponsor of terrorism list.

Published: July 7, 2024 10:18pm

Updated: July 8, 2024 3:35pm

A House subcommittee is exposing the Transportation Security Administration’s decision to let Cuban agents visit a U.S. airport and tour agency facilities, a potentially embarrassing episode for the Biden administration as polls show Latino voters are up for grabs in the 2024 election.

Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., the chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security, has scheduled a hearing Wednesday titled “Protecting the Homeland - Examining TSA's Relationships with U.S. Adversaries” that will focus heavily on the episode a few weeks ago at the Miami airport that has drawn widespread condemnation, particularly in the Cuban ex-pat community in America. 

U.S. officials have confirmed that a delegation from the Communist government of Cuba, hosted by TSA, was given a tour of Miami International Airport (MIA) and a meeting at TSA headquarters in the nation’s capital.
 
“Not only were representatives of a dictatorial regime designated by the U.S. State Department as a State Sponsor of Terrorism welcomed to TSA sites – as well as TSA Headquarters in D.C. – but the agency also decided not to notify the airport or Congress in advance,” Giminez told Just the News. “Even more concerning, the visit took place on the 122nd celebration of Cuban Independence Day, an extremely significant date for the Cuban exile community.
 
He also said: “This visit is just the latest effort by the Biden administration to weaken its stance toward a murderous dictatorship with a decades-long track record of human rights violations against its own people. The Biden administration must answer for its insensitive decision to play nice with one of the world’s most infamous, brutal authoritarian regimes."
 
Gimenez has led the outcry among Florida GOP lawmakers. Others expressing concern include Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio as well as Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Maria Elvira Salazar.
 
In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Gimenez noted the May episode was the second time under the Biden administration that Cuban agents were given access to sensitive facilities in the United States.
 
“In February 2023, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) invited members of Cuba’s Interior, Transportation and Foreign Relations ministries to visit USCG headquarters in Washington, D.C., and tour U.S. port facilities in Wilmington, N.C.,” the lawmaker wrote in a letter last month. “In response, Congress added language to the National Defense Authorization Act FY24 that would prohibit these tours under the International Port Security Program. 
 
“Under your watch, Cuban operatives have again accessed sensitive, secure areas within the U.S. transportation system. Yet again, Congress must step in to prevent your Department and the Biden Administration from hosting individuals from a country” officially tied to terrorism.
 
In January 2021, the State Department under Trump added Cuba to its State Sponsors of Terrorism list and President Joe Biden has decline to remove the island nation.
 
Cuba also has continued to provoke Americans, inviting Russian warships to its island a few weeks ago and allowing China to set up military bases there. 

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