Martinez blocks bill to ease Cuba sanctions
Florida Sen. Mel Martinez Tuesday stopped the latest effort to ease trade sanctions against Cuba, convincing the cosponsors of a Farm Bill amendment on Cuba to withdraw the proposal.
Martinez said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, had introduced an amendment that would have opened the door to further agricultural trade and allowed direct money transfers from American banks to Cuban banks.
But Martinez, with backing from several other senators, told the amendment sponsors that the Farm Bill would be stalled indefinitely if the Cuba language was included. At that point, Baucus and Crapo withdrew the amendment.
'The Cuban regime, true to its nature, continues to repress the people,' Martinez said. 'That is why we should not reward the Cuban government with a change in U.S. policy.'
Martinez was born in Cuba and emigrated to the U.S. as a boy.