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Floor Speech - Don't Abandon Western Sahara

Location: Washington, DC

Floor Speech - Don't Abandon Western Sahara

Mr. Speaker,

The King of Morocco is in Washington to tout the newly signed U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement. I am a free trader, but I have serious reservations about this plan.

Morocco today illegally occupies a country in West Africa known as Western Sahara. The King's government has promised people of Western Sahara, the Sahrawi, a vote to determine their own future. It has not happened, and it keeps delaying.

A decade after that promise, powerful friends help the Moroccan Government postpone this vote and consolidate control over the occupied territory.

The Sahrawis are a peaceful, pro-Western and prodemocracy people.

Despite living under an illegitimate colonial power, they have established a deep-rooted culture of democracy capable of supporting a viable state.

They elect their own leaders, many of them women, provide education and equal rights to all of their citizens, men and women.

The only stability a sovereign democratic Western Sahara disrupts is a status quo defined by tyranny.

We should keep that in mind when we vote on the trade agreement on the House floor.

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