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Rick Scott, Prince Charles. PHOTOS FROM AP.

Federal

Rick Scott to Prince Charles: Forget Cuba, visit Florida

The Senator says royals visiting communist regime would lend it legitimacy.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott is urging British Prince Charles to cancel a trip to Cuba that might provide legitimacy to the communist regime.

“A trip of this magnitude by the Crown provides unwarranted legitimacy to a dictatorship with a decades-long history of persecuting and imprisoning its defectors and repressing its people,” Scott wrote in a letter to the crown.

Instead, he said the royal should visit Florida.

No date has yet been announced for a trip to Cuba by Charles and wife Camilla. But Camilla revealed to Brenda Hale, president of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, a trip was in the works, according to the Daily Mail.

The trip will be the first official visit by a British royal to Cuba.

The news upset the Naples Republican. He said the prince instead should come to Florida, where officials historically oppose the Cuban government.

“By visiting Florida, you have the opportunity to stand with the people of Cuba and fight for a new era of freedom and opportunity,” he said.

“Conversely, a visit to Cuba signals your support for a ruthless dictatorship that has denied Cubans their basic rights for far too long.”

Fidel Castro, a key leader of the Cuban Revolution, established Cuba as a communist nation in 1959, per History.com. That made Cuba the first and only remaining communist nation in the Western Hemisphere.

After elevating himself to president, Castro remained head of state until 2006, when he turned over power to brother Raul. He did not officially resign until 2008.

Fidel Castro died in 2016. Raul Castro also stepped aside as president last year but remains the leader of the Communist Party, according to the New York Times.

New President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez came into power last April. Later that year, he announced the process of creating a new constitution via state media.

But Scott’s letter to the Prince of Wales said the Cuban dictatorship continues to repress the people and destabilize the region.

“The Cuba regime harbors terrorist groups and is responsible for propping up other ruthless dictators, like [Nicolas] Maduro in Venezuela,” Scott said.

“Right now, Maduro is terrorizing the people of Venezuela by blocking vital humanitarian aid from entering the country. This horrendous act of terror is orchestrated and supported by the Cuban dictatorship.”

In inviting Charles and Camilla to Florida, Scott did not suggest a resort vacation. Rather, he said the royals could meet with leaders of the Cuban community here and speak of why so many fled the Castro regime.

“I invite you to visit Florida to learn firsthand about the past six decades of atrocities, oppression and misery inflicted on the Cuban people by the regime,” he said.

“In Florida, you will be met by a vibrant Cuban population dedicated to putting an end to the decades of torture, repression, incarceration and death the people of Cuba have endured.”

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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