U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-NY), along with other House members, was blocked by the Cuban government last week from entering the country to assess security risks associated with resuming air travel between the United States and Cuba.
The Cuban government signed an accord on Feb. 16 that will allow more than 100 daily round-trip flights between the U.S. and Cuba.
Katko, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee’s Transportation Security Subcommittee, had previously held a hearing to address specific national security concerns associated with air travel to and from Cuba. Department of Homeland Security officials refused to answer questions posed by the subcommittee during the hearings.
“The Obama administration has failed to adequately answer basic security questions relating to screening processes in Cuba,” Katko said. “Today, the Cuban government has continued to obstruct Congress from gaining answers by blocking Congressional travel to examine these national security concerns. We still don’t know if Cuba has the adequate body scanners and explosive detection systems in place, whether it has the technology to screen for fraudulent passports or ID, whether or how aviation workers are screened, and if federal air marshals will be allowed to fly missions to Cuba. The administration is eager to have as many people as possible visit Cuba – except for those who are attempting to examine Cuban security infrastructure.”