From the offices of U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL):
Senseless UN Vote Against U.S. Embargo On Cuba Ignores the Dismal State of Human Rights On the Island, Says Ros-Lehtinen
“This comes as little surprise when it was this very body that let a State Sponsor of Terrorism like Cuba run for a seat on its Human Rights Council and allowed Iran, a regime subject to UN sanctions for proliferation, to chair its disarmament conference”
(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement on the United Nations General Assembly vote against the U.S. embargo against Cuba. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“One would think that the representatives at the UN General Assembly live in a different universe from that of the Cuban people. The dysfunctional international body voted against the U.S. embargo on Cuba, yet continues to ignore the increase in arbitrary arrests and detentions of pro-democracy advocates. For example, a young rapper is sitting in one of Castro’s gulags on the verge of death on a hunger strike and the Ladies in White continue to get harassed and beaten on a weekly basis by Castro’s state security agents and in fact, just this weekend at least 30 members of the Ladies in White were unjustly detained as they again tried to march to church to pray for the release of their family members and for freedom for the island. The UN should have better used the time it spent debating the embargo to instead punish the Castro regime and the Kim Jung-Un dictatorship for violating UN sanctions when the two tyrannies were transporting military weapons through the Panama Canal this summer.
“The sad reality is that this comes as little surprise when it was this very body that let a State Sponsor of Terrorism like Cuba run for a seat on its Human Rights Council and allowed Iran, a regime subject to UN sanctions for proliferation, to chair its disarmament conference. I commend our close friend and ally, the democratic, Jewish State of Israel, for joining us in voting against this senseless resolution. Its vote reflects a sober understanding of the reality in Cuba that is utterly lacking in today’s broken UN system, reaffirming how desperately in need of reform this body is.”
NOTE: Earlier this year, Ros-Lehtinen introduced H.R. 3155, the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act of 2013. The bill changes the funding mechanism from an assessed contributions method to a voluntary basis and gives the UN two years after the bill’s enactment date to phase in this reform before the U.S. is required to withhold funds.
Ros-Lehtinen Leads Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter with Senators Rubio and Menendez, as well as Reps. Diaz-Balart, Sires, and Garcia to Secretary Kerry Requesting Prompt Consideration of Humanitarian Parole Requests for Former Cuban Political Prisoners and their Families in Spain
(MIAMI, FLORIDA) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, along with U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Albio Sires (D-NJ), and Joe Garcia (D-FL) today sent a letter to Secretary John Kerry requesting that the State Department give immediate consideration to the requests for humanitarian parole authorization of approximately 48 former Cuban political prisoners and their families now living as exiles in Spain. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Hundreds and thousands of those who dared to speak out against the communist Castro regime and who had the temerity to call for freedom and democracy for Cuba were thrown in gulags and many later forced to leave their native homeland. Many of these former Cuban political prisoners who were exiled to Spain have since been reunited with their families here in the United States thanks to the humanitarian parole authorization. All of us have been working to help the Cubans in Spain for years but this recent effort is a result of the wonderful members of the Cuban American Bar Association who came to the Capitol recently to call attention to the sad plight of these left behind Cubans.
“Unfortunately, there are still several dozens who remain in Spain and they, and their families, have not been receiving sufficient humanitarian or other assistance and have been living in makeshift tents and substandard conditions. The State Department should do whatever is within its means to see that these legitimate political prisoners and their families receive fair and prompt consideration of their humanitarian parole requests and are treated humanely while in Spain or be granted entrance into the United States if they are eligible.”
For the full text of the final letter, please click here.