Mario Diaz-Balart warns about Trump's intent to strengthen embargo

Diaz-Balart to Washington Examiner: 'I think really good things are coming'

MIAMI – President Donald Trump is going to place an unprecedented amount of economic pressure on Cuba, which will affect some of the foreign companies that have invested there, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart said Monday, according to the Washington Examiner

"This is a very, very big deal," Diaz-Balart told the Washington Examiner. "I think really good things are coming from this. And so, you can't minimize the impact."

The Cuban government's foreign direct investment is coming mainly from Spain, Canada, Venezuela, Italy, France, China and Russia, which financing services experts say are all involved in joint ventures.

"I think it's probably true that those companies that have been investing in the island knowing that they're investing, they're trafficking in stolen property, have done so with the false expectation that they're doing that with absolute impunity,” Diaz-Balart told the Washington Examiner. "Would they have invested in these stolen properties if they knew that they could be held liable? I think the answer is pretty clear."

Among the energy ventures is a leading conglomerate lead by Total, a French energy company and Siemens, a German group. Diaz-Balart said the U.S. is ready to stand in front of the companies doing business with the island's communist regime, which is doing business with seized private property. 

In 2017, the Cuban government claimed the island needed at least $2 million in foreign investment annually to grow and the goal would be possible thanks to former President Raul Castro's reforms. President Miguel Díaz-Canel was tasked with carrying those out to alleviate poverty in Cuba.

If Trump moves forward, he will be the subject of more international scorn. Late last year, 189 of the 193 members of the United Nations General Assembly backed a resolution condemning the U.S. economic embargo on Cuba. Moldova and Ukraine abstained. Only the U.S. and Israel voted against it. 


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