Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). Photo: Reproduction/YouTube/NTD
During the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on “Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Priorities for the Western Hemisphere” on September 7, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) questioned Secretary of State Brian Nichols about the Biden Administration’s approach to sanctions in the Western Hemisphere.
Cruz criticized the Biden administration’s lack of response in imposing sanctions on South American countries that are expanding their relations with totalitarian and terrorist nations such as Russia, Communist China, and most recently, Iran, which has joined the BRICS, as reported by The Gateway Pundit.
Cruz also criticized President Biden’s relationship with Lula da Silva, whom he called a “close friend,” while disparaging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Senator Cruz questioned the lack of U.S. sanctions against Brazil in response to the Brazilian communist government of Lula da Silva allowing two Iranian warships to dock in Brazil in February.
Ted Cruz stated:
“I am deeply concerned that former U.S. allies are being replaced by leaders who are actively hostile to us and our interests. The Biden administration has chosen to embrace many of these leaders. President Biden warmly welcomed Lula da Silva to the White House, calling him a ‘close friend. Lula is an anti-American Chavista who embraces the Chinese Communist Party, Vladimir Putin, and the Iranian regime.”
In questioning the lack of sanctions, Cruz mentioned the non-use of Section 7031c against “anti-American communists who align themselves with Russia, China and Iran.
Section 7031c gives the Biden administration the ability to expand sanctions against countries involved in acts of corruption or serious human rights abuses.
Biden and Brazilian Socialist President Lula da Silva. Photo by Ricardo Stuckert
Regarding the lack of sanctions against Argentina, whose vice president, Cristina Kirchner, was convicted of corruption, Brian Nichols stated that he does not discuss specific ongoing cases, although Cruz noted that the request for sanctions against Kirchner has been pending for over a year.
Regarding the Iranian ships in Brazil, Nichols expressed satisfaction that the Iranian ships did not dock anywhere other than in Brazil.
Cruz again asked Nichols about sanctioning Lula da Silva for violating U.S. law and providing material support to Iran.
Biden’s secretary responded: “I’m not aware of any sanctions related to that particular situation.”
Cruz concluded: “Neither do I. And that’s the problem.”