Senators Marco Rubio and Robert Menendez introduced bipartisan legislation Wednesday that would halt commercial flights between the U.S. and Cuba until proper security measures are ensured, The Washington Examiner reported.
The two Cuban-American senators, who opposed President Barack Obama's historic decision to renew ties with the Castro regime and lift restrictions on business and travel, said American lives are endangered by Cuba's inadequate security capabilities, as well as Havana's refusal to allow airlines to hire their own workers to operate in the country.
"With so many serious threats around the world, it is irresponsible to leave key aspects of our airport security in the hands of the anti-American, repressive regime in Cuba," Rubio said. "President Obama's legacy should not come before the safety of the American people."
The senators insisted Obama should not have allowed commercial flights last week to be renewed after more than half a century without properly assessing these concerns, especially since the number of flights is expected to go up significantly in the near future.
PJ Media reported some of the key aspects of the legislation include requiring information on airport personnel vetting and security screening and "an assessment of the ability of known or suspected terrorists to use Cuba as a gateway to entering the United States."
Menendez said Cuba remains a totalitarian dictatorship that hosts terrorists, treats them as heroes and supports some of the world's worst terrorist groups.
Rep. John Katko, who introduced a similar bill in the House in July, was bolstered by the Senate legislation, auburnpub.com reported.
"The Obama administration's rush to open regularly scheduled commercial air service between the United States and Cuba without taking proper precautions is negligent, and I am optimistic that the House and Senate will move quickly on legislation to help address safety and security deficiencies," Katko said.
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