Miami International Airport
Miami International Airport Reuters / CARLOS BARRIA

A visit from representatives of the Cuban government to TSA control facilities at the Miami International Airport (MIA) has sparked a political firestorm in the city, angering U.S. officials who questioned the access to sensitive information — a practice typically reserved for representatives of allied countries. Officials from the Caribbean country were granted access by federal agencies to inspect a TSA checkpoint and baggage screening area at the airport.

As reported by Axios, MIA director Ralph Cutie said the federal agencies did not inform him or Mayor Daniella Levine-Cava about the tour, adding that "as a Cuban American and native Miamian, I'm appalled that this took place."

Levine Cava, on her end, said her office contacted the Department of Homeland Security to get answers and request county involvement in "any future decisions regarding granting access to MIA facilities to foreign government officials."

Monday's unannounced State Department tour took place after a Department of State official announced that the Biden Administration would remove Cuba from the list of countries not fully cooperating in the fight against terrorism.

Local Republicans, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio and formed Miami Dade mayor Carlos Giménez, were vocal in their criticism of the Biden administration for the visit.

Rubio said that "only under the Biden administration would they allow a terrorist regime into our secure facilities at one of the busiest airports in America", while Giménez called the whole idea "a slap in the face" to Cuban exiles.

The officials' visit happened during Cuban Independence Day, something that furthered angered Cuban-American members of the Miami Dade County Commission.

Republican Commissioner Raquel Regalado said that "the fact that they did it on the day that they did it just proves that it was done to be hurtful and to make a point and to try to hurt the Cuban community." Not surprisingly the County Commission voted unanimously to condemn the TSA for the tour and President Joe Biden for removing Cuba from the aforementioned list.

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