Cuba’s Ladies in White, Biscet Officially Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Ros-Lehtinen, Colleagues

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NEWS

House Foreign Affairs Committee

U.S. House of Representatives

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman

For IMMEDIATE Release – February 1, 2012

Cuba’s Ladies in White, Biscet Officially Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Ros-Lehtinen, Colleagues

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, along with twenty-nine of her Congressional colleagues in the House and Senate sent a letter to the Nobel Committee nominating Cuba’s ‘Las Damas de Blanco’ (the Ladies in White) and Cuban human rights activist Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. To view a copy of the letter, please click here.  Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“As we reflect on the recent birthday of Jose Marti, a Cuban national hero and supporter of Cuban independence, we are reminded of the Cuban people’s current pursuit for freedom and democracy.  Human rights activists such as the Ladies in White and Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet carry on Marti’s torch as they advocate for the liberation of the Cuban people from the oppressive Castro regime.  Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s testimony this week before Congress reaffirmed the dire picture in Cuba: the regime will continue to repress peaceful protestors, arrest political dissidents, and tighten its iron grip on the island.

“The brave members of ‘Las Damas de Blanco’ (the Ladies in White) merit global recognition for their inspiring commitment to freedom and human rights in Cuba.  This organization, comprised of the female relatives of political prisoners, has become a voice for the oppressed Cuban people.  As their message of freedom and democracy for all Cubans echoes across the island and the world, they are met with constant harassment and beatings by the paranoid Cuban regime.  But the Ladies in White continue to peacefully march on in spite of the dictatorship’s violent efforts to silence them.

“Dr. Biscet is a former political prisoner who suffered life-threatening conditions at the hands of Castro’s thugs.  His courage, commitment, and his peaceful efforts to bring about a transition to a free, democratic Cuba have resonated internationally.

“By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the Ladies in White and Dr. Biscet, the Nobel Committee would help highlight the plight of the Cuban people and honor the sacrifice and courage of these activists, while helping to rally world opinion around the Cuban people’s desperate yearning for freedom.”

NOTE:  In addition to Ros-Lehtinen, the cosigners of the letter are: U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and U.S. Reps. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), David Rivera (R-FL), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Dan Burton (R-IN), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ed Royce (R-CA), Dan Lungren (R-CA), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Mike Pence (R-IN), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Connie Mack (R-FL), Ted Poe (R-TX), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Tim Griffin (R-AK), Dennis Ross (R-FL), and Robert Turner (R-NY).

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