The bill was introduced by Ros-Lehtinen and Sires as a Bipartisan Legislation To Stand With The People of ALBA Nations and Hold Violators of Human Rights AccountableThe Countering ALBA Act is a bill that:
- Directs the United States Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States at the OAS to defend, protect, and strengthen the independent Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to advance the protection of human rights throughout the Western Hemisphere.
- Urges the President to sanction persons who are officials of ALBA Governments or persons acting on behalf of ALBA Governments, who the President determines are responsible for or complicit in the commission of serious human rights abuses against citizens of ALBA countries. Such sanctions may include: ineligibility for a visa to enter the United States, blocking of property, and prohibition on financial transactions pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
- Calls on the President to transmit to Congress a report on persons that are engaged in censorship or other activities with respect to ALBA countries that prohibit, limit, or penalize the exercise of freedom of expression or assembly by citizens of ALBA countries; or limit access to print or broadcast media.
- Directs the Secretary of State to transmit a comprehensive strategy to ensure that ALBA governments are democratic governments that are committed to making constitutional changes that would ensure regular free and fair elections and the full enjoyment of basic civil liberties and human rights by the citizens of ALBA countries; and have made demonstrable progress in establishing independent judiciaries and electoral councils.
- The Bill twas introduced on April 23, 2013. It must be approved tin the House of representatives before it can reach the Senate. The majority of bills rarely pass this stage. So far eight states oppose the Bill while two give their support.
- Will this Bill ever become law? Time will tell.