House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH):
Speaker Boehner: The White House Has Handed the Castro Regime a Significant Political Win in Return for Nothing
Washington, D.C. – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement in response to the Obama administration’s decision to remove Cuba from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terror:
“The Obama administration has handed the Castro regime a significant political win in return for nothing. The communist dictatorship has offered no assurances it will address its long record of repression and human rights abuses at home. Nor has it offered any indication it will cease its support for violence throughout the region, including the brutal attacks on Cuban democracy protestors in Panama City during the Summit for the Americas earlier this year.
As I’ve said before, relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom – and not one second sooner. Removing the regime from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terror is just the latest example of this administration focusing more on befriending our enemies than helping our allies, but fortunately it will have little practical effect. Most U.S. sanctions on the Cuban regime are contained in other laws – laws the U.S. House will ensure remain in place as we work to protect those fighting for freedom, and in many cases, simply their own survival.”
U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL):
Obama’s Decision To Remove Cuba From State Sponsor of Terrorism List Demonstrates Administration Put Politics Before Policy, Says Ros-Lehtinen
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding the Obama administration’s removal of Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terror (SSOT) list. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“President Obama’s decision to remove Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list demonstrates that this Administration has once again put politics over policy. Cuba should not have been removed from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list since one of the many reasons for its inclusion are its links to repressive regimes around the world such as Iran, Syria, and Russia. Additionally, Castro continues to provide a safe haven to terror groups like the Colombian FARC and Spanish ETA and harbors fugitives from American justice. The Castro regime’s responsibility in the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down, the unresolved claims stemming from its illegal confiscation of property from American citizens and businesses, and its continual use of repressive tactics to silence any opposition to the tyrannical regime are further evidence that Cuba should not have been removed from the SSOT. However, it is clear that this review from the Obama Administration was not based on facts, but rather based on a desperate attempt to offer more concessions to the Castro brothers in exchange for opening an embassy in Havana.”
U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL):
Just Two Days Before Anniversary of Taliban Five Swap, President Obama Is At It Again
WASHINGTON, DC— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after President Obama’s decision to remove Cuba from the State Department’s state sponsors of terror list.
“Regrettably, President Obama chose to remove Cuba from the U.S.-designated state sponsors of terror list. He made this ill-advised decision despite the Castro regime’s continuation of its terrorist activities, including illegal weapons smuggling, extensive espionage activities, assistance to terrorist organizations and rogue regimes, harboring fugitives from U.S. justice, including terrorists Joanne Chesimard and William Morales, and even protecting three high-ranking members of its military who have outstanding federal indictments for murdering Americans. The President’s decision was wrong on the facts and wrong on policy. Just two days before the anniversary of the Taliban Five swap, President Obama is at it again. This does not come as a surprise, as President Obama has an unfortunate history of appeasing those who are a threat to our country’s national security interests. Instead of supporting the pro-democracy movement and its leaders on the island, President Obama continues to earn his Appeaser-in-Chief title by continuing his endless concessions to the Castro regime. Congress will continue its efforts to counter his destructive policies.”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL):
Rubio Comments On Obama Administration’s Latest Concession To Castro Regime
Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, issued the following video statement regarding the Obama Administration’s latest concession to the Castro regime by de-listing Cuba from the United States’ State Sponsors of Terrorism List:
View Rubio’s remarks here in English and here in Spanish.
“President Obama and his administration continue to give the Cuban regime concession after concession, in exchange for nothing that even remotely resembles progress towards freedom and democracy for the Cuban people, or assurances that the regime will discontinue working against America’s national security interests. I simply don’t understand how the President can, in good conscience, continue these giveaways to the Castro regime and how he can be thinking of sending an ambassador to Cuba when there are still many unanswered questions and security gaps that will affect their safety and their ability to do the job that our ambassadors all over the world are being asked to do.”
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ):
Menendez on the Removal of Cuba from Terrorism List
Newark, NJ – U. S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) issued the following statement in reaction to the Obama Administration’s removal of Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
“This dangerous and misguided policy is resulting in the U.S. conceding on bedrock values, while Cuba is only more intransigent and uncompromising in its disrespect for universal values and freedoms. This approach of the U.S. giving and Cuba taking simply rewards the regime for decades of repression. The Castro regime is feeling vindicated for fifty years of brutality, making this announcement a further misstep in a profoundly flawed policy.
“The fact is, the Castro regime has not shown one iota of change in its actions that earned it a spot on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list. Cuba still provides sanctuary to Joanne Chesimard who remains on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorism List for the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster, it recently was caught sending arms to North Korea in the single largest violation of United Nations Security Council sanctions, and also received a shipment from a Chinese arms manufacturer that was seemingly headed for Colombia’s terrorist organization FARC. Yet today Cuba was somehow delisted from this dishonorable list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. To this day, we have not seen one substantial step toward transparent democratic elections, improved human rights, freedom of assembly, or the ability to form independent political parties and trade unions on the island.
“It is terribly disconcerting that the list of unilateral concessions by the Obama Administration continues to grow without any signs of reciprocity from a despotic and reinvigorated Castro regime. At the end of the day, decisions like this are doing nothing but depriving the Cuban people the liberties and freedoms they seek and deserve.”