U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today asked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton whether the U.S. would boycott the upcoming Summit of the Americas were Cuba to be invited and pressed Clinton on the Administration's approach to addressing the threat of Iranian activity in the Western Hemisphere. Click here to view the exchange. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Madame Secretary, I've heard from a number of my constituents, as you know I represent South Florida, the gateway to the Americas, who are worried that ALBA countries, led by Chavez, continue to pressure to invite Cuba to the Summit of the Americas in April, even though the Castro dictatorship does not meet the criteria to join the meeting as you know. Will you pledge here today that if Cuba is invited that President Obama and you, Madame Secretary, will refuse to attend the summit meeting?
"On Iran and the Western Hemisphere: just last month Ahmadinejad's Tour of Tyrants, as I called it, his trip to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador reaffirmed Iran's commitment to undermine U.S. national security interests. I'm concerned about Iran's willingness to attack the United States homeland or our critical allies, such as Israel. With the rising threat posed by the Qods force and its Iranian proxies, such as Hezbollah, in our region, will we dedicate more attention to these illicit activities in the annual terrorism report? Lastly, what is the Administration doing to ensure cooperation from our allies in the Hemisphere with respect to Iran, and to hold accountable those countries that are supporting and enable Iran's threatening activities? Thank you Madame Secretary."