Florida Sen. Rick Scott urges Britain's Prince Charles not to visit Cuba

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visit The Supreme Court in central London, on February 5, 2019, to commemorate its 10th anniversary. Copyright VICTORIA JONES
By Linda Givetash and Associated Press and David Rudge with NBC News World News
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A visit to Cuba "signals your support for a ruthless dictatorship," Scott warned in a letter to the Prince of Wales.


LONDON — Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent a letter to Britain's Prince Charles on Friday urging him to cancel a rumored visit to Cuba during an upcoming royal tour of the Caribbean.

Visiting the island long at odds with the U.S. would signal the monarch's "support for a ruthless dictatorship," Scott wrote in a letter he shared on Twitter. Instead, Scott suggested the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall should visit Florida to learn about the decades of "atrocities" inflicted on Cubans by the regime.

The visit to Cuba has not been confirmed, but NBC's U.K. partner ITV reported this week that the president of Britain's Supreme Court recently let slip the stop would be part of the tour this spring.

In a statement to NBC News on Saturday Clarence House, the office that speaks for the Prince of Wales, did not comment on Scott's letter.

"All official overseas visits are undertaken at the request of the British Government," it said.

If Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall do make the trip, it would be the first time a British Royal had visited the island.

"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 his letter to Charles, the heir to the U.K. throne.

"For the sake of standing up for democracy and freedom, I hope you will accept my offer and reconsider a visit to Cuba."

Florida Sen. Rick Scott arrives for a meeting with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and new GOP senators at the Capitol in Washington on Nov. 14, 2018.
Florida Sen. Rick Scott arrives for a meeting with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and new GOP senators at the Capitol in Washington on Nov. 14, 2018.J. Scott Applewhite

Scott is a new face in the Senate after narrowly defeating Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson in November.

His approach to the Castro regime is consistent with Republican opposition to former President Barack Obama's efforts to normalize relations with the island state after a half-century of estrangement.

Ahead of the midterms, National Security Advisor John Bolton announced new sanctions against Cuba during a trip to Miami, viewed as an effort to rally conservative Latino voters in the swing state.

The sanctions are part of President Donald Trump's attempt to starve Cuba's state-run operations while channeling money to directly to Cuban people.

Relations have also been strained by a series of mysterious incidents that have damaged the health of both American and Canadian diplomats in Cuba.

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