Statements and reactions regarding the Obama administration's late/early Christmas present to the Castro regime:
At the time of the Castro regime's worst economic and political crisis in recent history -- and in defiance of the will of the U.S. Congress -- the Obama Administration has made a policy decision to bail it out.
As such, the Obama Administration has succumbed to the Castro regime's blackmail. It's nonsensical and irresponsible to ease travel to Cuba for Americans while an American is being held hostage by the Castro regime for the last 13 months without charges, trial or due process.
Such appeasing and accommodating policies will only embolden the dangerous behavior of the Castro regime and further endanger American lives.
U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-18)
Statement on Administration's Announced Changes to Cuba Regulations
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement on today's announcement by the administration to ease regulations regarding travel and remittances to Cuba:
"Loosening these regulations will not help foster a pro-democracy environment in Cuba. These changes will not aid in ushering in respect for human rights. And they certainly will not help the Cuban people free themselves from the tyranny that engulfs them.
These changes undermine U.S. foreign policy and security objectives and will bring economic benefits to the Cuban regime."
U.S. Rep. David Rivera (R-FL-25)
Statement from Congressman Rivera on Administration’s Changes to Cuba Travel Policy
Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Member Congressman David Rivera (FL-25) made the following statement regarding today’s announcement by the administration to ease regulations on travel and remittances to Cuba:
“This loosening of regulations is a unilateral concession that does nothing to solve the fundamental problems on the island. Instead of seeking change and improvements from the Cuban dictatorship in regards to human rights and free and open democratic elections before entering into any kind of compromise, this policy sends a message that the Cuban dictatorship does not have to improve before being rewarded by the United States.
“This policy will not lead to a better quality of life for the Cuban people or help grant them the freedoms that they so desperately need and want, it only serves to enrich the Cuban dictatorship. “
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Comments on Administration's Announced Changes to Cuba Regulations
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio issued the following statement on today's Obama Administration announcement to ease regulations regarding travel and remittances to Cuba:
"I strongly oppose any new changes that weaken U.S. policy towards Cuba. I was opposed to the changes that have already been made by this Administration and I oppose these new changes. I believe that what does need to change are the Cuban regime's repressive policies towards the independent press and labor unions, its imprisonment of political prisoners and constant harassment of citizens with dissenting views, and its refusal to allow free multi-party elections. It is unthinkable that the administration would enable the enrichment of a Cuban regime that routinely violates the basic human rights and dignity of its people."
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Menendez Statement on Changes to Cuba Travel, Remittances Policy
Newark, NJ – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after the Obama administration today announced changes to policy to Cuba travel and remittances policy:
"I am deeply disappointed by President Obama's decision today to extend an economic life line to the Castro regime. This gift to the Castro brothers will provide the regime with the additional resources it needs to sustain its failing economy, while ordinary Cubans continue to struggle under the weight of more than fifty years of economic and political oppression.
The decision to permit additional travel to the island and allow nearly unlimited resources to flow to the regime is bad policy and will only serve to prolong the repression of the Cuban people. These changes, purportedly taken in hope of advancing a democratic opening on the island, ignore the reality that it is not U.S. policy, but Cuban policy, that is responsible for the Castros' political and economic tyranny. This opening will do no more to advance political freedom in Cuba then our economic engagement with China has done for political dissidents in that nation. You can't buy political reform.
The fact that the Administration offered this concession to the regime despite their continued imprisonment of an American citizen is simply outrageous. Unless new efforts are undertaken to limit the impact of these policy changes, the sole result will be to enrich the Castro regime and enhance the political and economic impoverishment of the Cuban people."