Rouzer off base on Cuba

Our congressman, David Rouzer, has recently cast two votes that do potential harm to move Cuba toward a more free, democratic republic.

Rouzer’s vote to defeat the Farr Amendment in the U.S. Congress, which would have removed Section 540, still stands. Section 540 will make it impossible for the U.S. Commerce Department to license new types of U.S. and North Carolina products to be exported and sold to Cuba.

Why is this important? Having traveled to Cuba over 40 times in the past 22 years and having recently returned from Cuba having spent three weeks there, I witnessed the tremendous growth of entrepreneurial (Mom and Pop) private businesses blossoming in Cuba’s cities. We call this Capitialism.

These new privately owned businesses need the raw products to grow and succeed and become a part of the change in the Cuban system. Our congressman does not agree.

Further, there are a minority of U.S. congressman which Rouzer has joined, who are seeking to limit our constitutional right to travel to Cuba with HR 2577, a piece of legislation that would, if implemented, curtail U.S. charter flights to Cuba. Hundreds of thousands of Cuban Americans use these flights to return to Cuba to visit family and to take in funds to their loved ones to allow them to purchase products vital to their livelihood.

Rouzer’s friend in the U.S. Congress, Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), is the author of this bill and a Cuban-American from Miami. District 7 voters must understand who this friend of our congressman is, so may I enlighten you? Rafael Lincoln Diaz-Balart-Gutierrez, Mario’s father, was the notorious “hatchet man” for the former brutal Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Bastista. Lincoln was in charge of the torture and execution of Cuban revolutionary soldiers.

Congressman Rouzer voted against the Sanford-Lee amendment on HR 2577, Diaz-Balart’s bill, to remove Section 193 and 414. His vote was to strike a blow to our freedom to travel to Cuba.

Our congressman has decided to “go to bed” with what many call in the U.S. Congress, the “Cuban-American Miami Mafia” when it comes to our freedom to trade with and travel to Cuba.

We, the electorate of District 7, must hold our congressman responsible for supporting such antiquated, failed, backward-looking legislation related to bringing real change to Cuba. After all, he is voting against creating a new market for U.S. and North Carolina products as well as his support to hinder our freedom to travel to Cuba.

Edward “Ned” Walsh