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Rick Scott warns President Obama not to lift sanctions on Cuba

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Although not even the most optimistic entrepreneur who wants to have the U.S. reengage with Cuba thinks there’s any possibility of the economic sanctions going bye-bye anytime soon, Rick Scott decided today to issue a statement warning President Obama not to even think about doing that.

“Agriculture is a vital part of our economy in Florida, and lifting the embargo on Cuba could do irreparable harm to it, ” Scott said in a statement. “Importing agricultural products from Cuba could drive down demand for Florida products, open our crops up to invasive pests and species, and give the Castro regime leverage to continue the suppression of their people. Florida agriculture has over a $100 billion impact on our state, and President Obama should be doing everything he can to support it. Sadly, he continues to stand side by side with the Castro regime. I will continue to oppose lifting the embargo, and fight for Florida families, farmers, and our agriculture industry.”

Of course, President Obama can’t lift the economic sanctions even if he wanted to. That’s a role that Congress would have a major say in. Six separate laws dictate the terms of sanctions on Cuba. They range from the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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