The House Foreign Affairs Committee overwhelmingly defeated President Barack Obama's lifting of travel restrictions to Cuba Thursday night as part of a the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for the 2012 fiscal year.
Congressman David Rivera (FL-25) sponsored the amendment repealing President Obama's lifting of restrictions and reinstating the Bush administration Cuba travel regulations which limit visits to once every three years among other restrictions.
A bipartisan group of Foreign Affairs Committee Members voted 36-6 in favor of the Rivera amendment sending a clear message to President Obama that Congress does not support the unilateral concessions that his administration has granted to the Castro regime.
"The House Foreign Affairs Committee overwhelmingly supported overturning the President's decision to allow more travel to Cuba. We understand that we must not reward a regime that has been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism by our government, has held an American citizen hostage for more than 18 months, has no regard for the human rights of its own people and has refused to allow freedom and democratic reforms," Congressman Rivera said.
"The President's effort to loosen regulations on travel and remittances to Cuba is an unwarranted unilateral concession that does nothing to solve the fundamental problems of the island. We must require change and reforms from the Castro dictatorship in regards to human rights and free and open democratic elections before pursuing policies that only serve to enrich the Castro dictatorship."