House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman
For IMMEDIATE Release
Ros-Lehtinen Chastises Clinton about Administration’s ‘Double Standard’ on Castro Regime
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, during a Committee hearing earlier today pressed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to justify the Administration’s stance on various rogue regimes such as Syria and Libya, including calling on various dictators to leave power, but continuing to engage the Cuban regime, seemingly minimizing the threat posed by the Cuban tyranny to U.S. interests and the Cuban people.
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Madam Secretary, your administration has remained in opposition to many of the world’s tyrants, yet the U.S. continues to engage the Cuban regime.
“In March, you stated Qaddafi ‘should leave power’ In June 1, you said Saleh should ‘move out of the way.’ In July, you stated, ‘Assad is not indispensable and we have absolutely nothing invested in him remaining in power.’
“Yet in stark contrast, this Administration continues to engage the Cuban regime and provide the Castro brothers economic lifelines in the form of allowing increased travel opportunities and supporting their offshore oil drilling aspirations. Two weeks ago, Undersecretary Wendy Sherman confirmed to our Committee that the Department of State had recently met with the Cuban regime to discuss Alan Gross.
“Media reports have the State Department willing to offer concessions such as allowing convicted Cuban spies to return to Cuba or taking Cuba off the State Sponsor of Terrorism list in order to obtain the release of Mr. Gross.
“The United States should not be negotiating with a State Sponsor of Terrorism, so I ask you, Madam Secretary, why is there a double standard with the Castro regime?”