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3 Florida lawmakers seek answers from Biden administration on Cuban officials' MIA tour

3 South Florida lawmakers don't want more Cuban officials to tour MIA after controversial visit
3 South Florida lawmakers don't want more Cuban officials to tour MIA after controversial visit 03:06

MIAMI - Congressman Mario Diaz Balart, Senator Rick Scott and Congressman Carlos Gimenez, former Miami-Dade Mayor, want to make sure no Cuban officials tour Miami International Airport again, as they did this week.

"We all fight for this airport, we want to be safe," said Republican Senator Rick Scott reiterating that the May 20th tour of Cuban Official at sensitive areas by TSA personnel was unacceptable.  

"We need to get answers, we need to know exactly what happened here and this better never happened again," said Scott.

"I know that this happened in the past, but what we're seeing now is a pattern," said in a high tone of voice Republican congressman Mario Diaz Balart. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) acknowledges other visits also happened in 2011 and 2015.  The last time Republican Congressman Carlos Gimenez was mayor of Miami-Dade County.

"That's correct! I did not know about the visits when I was mayor. I only found out about two or three days ago," said Gimenez during the press conference.

The lawmakers said it was through the news, that they found out about the three visits of a Cuban delegation to MIA.  

On May 20th, five officials toured the TSA passenger checkpoint and TSA baggage screening area for five hours.

"I called the (TSA) administrator (David) Pekoske and asked him why he did it, he had no knowledge," said Gimenez referring to the highest-ranking official at the Transportation Security Administration; he was appointed in 2017.  

CBS News Miami's Ivan Taylor addressed Congressman Gimenez saying:

"…But Administrator David Pakoske was assigned to that position by (former) President Trump.  So, how come he is not taking any action he should be against the policies of the Biden Administration. 

"Because he works for the Biden Administration.  He has a boss called Alejandro Mayorkas," responded Gimenez. 

"He was reinstated to that position, but the one who appointed him was President Trump," said Taylor.  

"That's fine! I don't care who appointed him, I don't like what he did," responded Gimenez.

The Republican lawmaker said that "will have to work a bill that says: hey! You won't show state's sponsors or terrorism on antiterrorism efforts," added Gimenez. 

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava asked the White House for an explanation, as well as, Federal Authorities. 

She told CBS News Miami that they had replied on Thursday.

"We received an official apology, we were told that the protocols will change in the future, that we would be notified long in advance when any foreign delegation arriving and we would work together to see what would be appropriate." 

Congressmen Carlos Gimenez and Mario Diaz-Balart are also asking for a briefing from TSA, but no specific date has been set for that request.   

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