House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman
For IMMEDIATE Release – November 30, 2011
Ros-Lehtinen Nominates Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet and Laura Pollan for Nobel Peace Prize
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is spearheading an effort to secure broad, bipartisan Congressional support for former Cuban prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet and, posthumously, Laura Pollan, a former leader of Cuba’s Ladies in White who died at the hand of the Cuban regime, to receive the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Dr. Biscet and Ms. Pollan embody the plight of the Cuban people and the struggle for freedom and human rights everywhere. Their peaceful opposition and non-violent defense of the fundamental liberties of the Cuban people are deserving of recognition by the Nobel committee. I am pleased to nominate both for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize and to secure the broadest level of support to make this a reality.
“As a tireless advocate for the people of Cuba, Dr. Biscet has endured brutal interrogations, detentions, countless beatings and torture as punishment for speaking out against the repressive regime in Havana. He spent more than a decade as a prisoner of the Cuban dictatorship, and yet remains courageously undeterred in peacefully advocating for human rights and democracy in Cuba.
“Ms. Pollan’s leadership in the Ladies in White exposed and shined a light on the unjust incarcerations and other human rights violations which take place at the hand of the Cuban regime. Her outspoken yet peaceful efforts made her the victim of multiple beatings and assaults, and led to the loss of her life at the hands of Cuban thugs last month. She sacrificed her life as she peacefully demonstrated on behalf of justice and freedom. Her memory will forever live on.
“I call on human rights advocates, pro-democracy activists and freedom-loving people to stand together and join me in supporting the nominatios of both Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet and Ms. Laura Pollan for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize. I will work to secure the support of my colleagues in the House and Senate in joining the campaign to recognize two deserving heroes for their courageous work in demanding freedom for 11 million oppressed Cubans.”
NOTE: Rep. Ros-Lehtinen is currently circulating a letter in Congress regarding the nominations of Dr. Biscet and Laura Pollan to be sent to the Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. For a copy of the letter, please click here.
Additionally, on Wednesday, December 14th, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will speak at the National Endowment for Democracy’s event honoring Ms. Laura Pollan. Please click here for more details.