Senator Marco Rubio has released videos of a hearing he held in Washington recently.
Rubio solicited testimony from Danilo Maldonado (El Sexto), recently freed from prison in Castrogonia, and also from Russian dissident and world chess champion Garry Kasparov, and Dr. Halah Eldoseri from Saudi Arabia.
Press release from Marco Rubio
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, chaired a hearing Thursday with prominent human rights activists and experts.
Mr. Garry Kasparov, a Russian activist living in exile in America; Dr. Halah Eldoseri, a Saudi Arabian women’s rights activist; and Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado Machado, a Cuban artist, testified about the oppression they’ve experienced under the governments of their respective home countries and the critical role the United States has to play in safeguarding the fundamental human rights of all people.
Partial transcripts and links to videos of the hearing’s key moments and Rubio’s opening statement are below.
RUBIO: After the president visited Cuba and left, what was government – the Castro government’s reaction to the people who met with him? Did you notice a change in their behavior after he left? Did they become more repressive after the fact?
EL SEXTO: No, repression has increased.
RUBIO: What would the impact be on our credibility, on America’s standing in the world and quite frankly our national security but in particular I want you to opine on our credibility and our standing in the world as a nation who promotes democracy and liberty and the rights of all people, what would it do to our standing if despite all of these things that we now know we somehow enter a geopolitical deal with Moscow in which we are willing to overlook all these things and sovereignty of nations like Ukraine in exchange for their supposed cooperation in Syria. What would the impact be on America’s standing in the world if we going into a deal with a criminal like this?
KASPAROV: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I agree with everything that you said about Vladimir Putin and his regime. I think it’s important to emphasize that the United States of America and Putin’s Russia – let me emphasize Putin’s Russia – have no common values, no common ground, and no common interests.