I don’t believe that anyone in the Cuban exile community who opposes President Obama’s “normalization” of relations with communist Cuba, thought the administration would invite them to the historic U.S. flag-raising ceremony in Havana, Cuba later this week.
And, let me just say, I highly doubt any of these Cuban exiles would even want to attend the event.
The Obama administration is not inviting “dissidents,” rather letting Secretary of State John Kerry meet privately and “quietly” with some of those Cuban activists.
Cuban exiles and those who support their cause, have called on President Obama and Secretary Kerry, to call on the Cuban government to denounced the ongoing, decades-long human rights violations the Castro regime has committed against the Cuban people.
Several pro-Embargo members of Congress released these statements opposing the move to normalize relations with the Cuban government.
Statement by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen:
“One month ago, the Obama administration negotiated a dangerous deal with Iran and today, Secretary Kerry seals the surrender to the Castro brothers – an avowed enemy of our nation. It is saddening and disheartening that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have chosen to carry on with this diplomatic charade and reopen a U.S. embassy in Cuba, rewarding the tyrannical Castro regime. Secretary Kerry’s visit to formally open the embassy at the very heart of Castro’s brutality should have never happened until we saw substantive reforms in Cuba such as independent and fair multi-party elections, freedom of the press, and the release of all political prisoners. Just this Sunday, over 100 human rights activists were arrested yet the Obama administration demonstrates willful blindness when it comes to the brutal repression that occurs in Cuba every day. The building in Havana may now be called an embassy, but in reality it will be a symbol of this administration’s abandonment of the American ideals and principles that we have an obligation to uphold and support, as it will not help bring any practical changes to promote democracy and support basic freedoms. The fact that the Obama administration has fallen for Castro’s lies and deception is reminiscent of the children’s tale The Emperor Has No Clothes.”
Statement by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart:
“Once again, President Obama has proven that he will eagerly acquiesce to dictators while gaining precious little in return. The human rights record of the Castro regime continues to be the worst in our hemisphere, with more than three thousand political arrests occurring since President Obama’s December 17, 2014 announcement. Pro-democracy leaders and human rights activists, including the heroic Ladies in White, are routinely beaten by Castros’ thugs. Just last weekend, the Castro regime was responsible for dozens of brutal arrests, including the re-arrest of at least one person on the Castro-Obama “list of 53.” Shamefully, President Obama has made neither America’s interest in a free and democratic Cuba, nor liberty for the Cuban people, a priority of his foreign policy agenda. Instead, he has done all that he can to prolong the ailing Castro dictatorship by easing sanctions and extending undeserved diplomatic privileges. Meanwhile, the longsuffering Cuban people continue to dwell in unrelenting oppression and tyranny. The American and Cuban people deserve much more from this administration.”
Statement by Rep. Carlos Curbelo:
“This Administration has put blinders on to the increased repression against peaceful pro-democracy activists. Just this past Sunday, 90 dissidents were arrested. I call on Secretary Kerry to salvage the prestige of the United States and summon the courage to denounce these violations against basic human dignity and condemn the regime’s actions against the Cuban people.”