Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. By Micaela Burrow. DCNF.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida wrote a letter Wednesday accusing the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) of blocking screenings of “Sound of Freedom,” which the military command had originally scheduled for August and October but canceled due to copyright issues.

According to Rubio, representatives from Angel Studios, the creator of Sound of Freedom, assured SOUTHCOM that continuing military and civilian screenings at U.S. Army Garrison-Miami would not violate copyright restrictions. However, SOUTHCOM commanders reportedly continue to “block” the film because it is “already available,” the letter continued.

“Given SOUTHCOM’s strong leadership in combating human trafficking and the relevance of the film ‘Sound of Freedom’ to SOUTHCOM’s mission, I was disturbed to learn of the decision to cancel screenings of the film,” Rubio said in the address Letter to SOUTHCOM Commander General Laura Richardson.

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In August, SOUTHCOM canceled two free screenings of the film scheduled for August 28 and October 19 due to “copyright issues,” according to screenshots of emails obtained by the DCNF.

The thriller, which depicts a rescue operation by a semi-civilian anti-human trafficking organization, was intended to be shown “in support of SOUTHCOM’s mission to promote respect for human rights and combat human trafficking in Central and South America and the Caribbean.” according to a flyer obtained from the DCNF.

“Both performances will be postponed until further notice. There are specific Department of Defense regulatory procedures for reviewing intellectual property to prevent the appearance of copyright infringement,” said a follow-up email received by the DCNF. “Further reviews” would be required before the Army garrison could proceed with the reviews.

However, Rubio said he was informed that the film’s producers and the studio had told SOUTHCOM that showing the film at the Garrison did not violate copyright regulations. It was unclear whether pending Department of Defense (DOD) regulations stood in the way.

Angel Studios also offered to send a representative to the garrison to answer questions from military members and their families after the screenings, Rubio said, according to the letter.

“Despite this clarification, it appears that SOUTHCOM continues to block the film’s broadcast because it is ‘already accessible.’ “I hope you agree that what matters is whether it is worth showing the film to the troops and potentially meeting the filmmakers, not whether the troops themselves can buy a movie ticket or stream the film,” Rubio said in the letter.

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The email sent to base personnel announcing that the event had been postponed “encouraged” local military personnel and families to view the film at nearby theaters that were still offering screenings.

“The film’s central theme and its connection to SOUTHCOM’s AOR and our Human Rights Office (HRO) Anti-Trafficking Program (CTIP) are unmissable and will serve to raise awareness of the prevalence of human trafficking and sexual abuse and exploitation “To sharpen the area of ​​responsibility in our country,” the email continues.

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