House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman
September 7, 2011
For IMMEDIATE Release
Ros-Lehtinen Calls Reported Hezbollah Base in Cuba ‘Dangerous yet Unsurprising, If True’
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented on reports that the Foreign Terrorist Organization Hezbollah is setting up a base in Cuba. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“The Castro regime has long been designated by the State Department as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Given Cuba’s close relationship with Iran and Syria, Hezbollah’s primary benefactors, it would not surprise me if Cuba is providing a safe haven for Hezbollah to expand its operations in the Western Hemisphere.
“Reports of a Hezbollah base in Cuba are dangerous yet unsurprising, if true. They remind us not only of the threat posed by Islamist extremists in the Western Hemisphere, but that those extremists enjoy the active support of America’s enemies in the region, including the likes of Chavez, the Castros, and others.
“I have requested for State Department officials to testify before the Foreign Affairs Committee on security threats in the Western Hemisphere, including Hezbollah and other extremist activity, and will soon be re-introducing legislation to expand and intensify ongoing counterterrorism and nonproliferation efforts in the Hemisphere.
“U.S. policy must not have any blind spot when it comes to Islamist extremist groups expanding their activities in our Hemisphere, and anti-American despots helping them out.”