Ros-Lehtinen Concerned with Possible Violation of U.S. Law by U.S. Interests Section in Cuba

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NEWS

House Foreign Affairs Committee

U.S. House of Representatives

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman

For IMMEDIATE Release

Ros-Lehtinen Concerned with Possible Violation of U.S. Law by U.S. Interests Section in Cuba

Says Summer Photo Contest Glorifies Cuba Tourism

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter today to Secretary Clinton regarding an online photography contest the U.S. Interests Section (USINT) in Havana, Cuba is sponsoring, which essentially promotes tourism to Cuba and therefore undermines and potentially violates U.S. law. Text of the letter is as follows, and a signed copy may be viewed here.

July 12, 2011

The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Madam Secretary:

I am writing to express my serious concern regarding a photography contest the U.S. Interests Section (USINT) in Havana, Cuba is carrying out which undermines, and potentially violates, U.S. law.

According to USINT’s website, the Public Affairs Office of the United States Interests Section initiated a “Memories of Summer” photography contest on June 13, 2011 which calls on Cubans to submit their “best summer-themed photos to compete for a chance to win big prizes.” USINT also promises to pay for the cost of printing and framing the fifteen images selected as finalists for the exhibition at USINT in September 2011.

Not surprisingly, the photos that have been posted to USINT’s official Facebook page as submissions to this contest offer the quintessential depiction of tourism travel to Cuba – beaches, smiles and bikinis. It is appalling that USINT would allow itself to become a tool of the regime’s propaganda machine by legitimizing this skewed perception of the Cuban people’s reality.  More importantly, it is unacceptable that USINT would expend U.S. taxpayer dollars on an activity which promotes tourism travel to Cuba, an activity which is strictly prohibited by current U.S. law.

Madam Secretary, I respectfully request your immediate attention to this matter and thank you in advance for your consideration.

Sincerely,

ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN
Chairman

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1 thought on “Ros-Lehtinen Concerned with Possible Violation of U.S. Law by U.S. Interests Section in Cuba”

  1. Mrs. Clinton wishes she could respond, but it is better to simply ignore this.
    She is thinking, “Will someone not rid me of this troublesome pest? Since when is truth a consideration in State Department Matters? Why won’t this woman get with the program?”

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