U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of State's release of its 2012 Human Rights Report:
"As Americans, reports like this remind us of how special our nation has been because it was founded on fundamental truths that all humans are created equal and possess God-given rights that can't be revoked. For over two centuries, the world has been a better place because America has strived to defend these fundamental human rights at home and abroad.
"The State Department's human rights report gives a voice to the world's powerless and sheds light on governments that fail to respect their citizens' fundamental rights. I encourage this administration to never miss an opportunity to stand with freedom-seeking people around the world and never forget that American action or inaction influences tyrants trying to see what atrocities they can get away with.
"For example, in the Western Hemisphere, we need to reinforce our commitment to human rights and democratic values. At a time when the Cuban people are taking increasingly bolder actions to demand respect for their inalienable rights, it makes no sense to reward the Castro regime with visas for its agents to visit America while the regime continues to deny the Cuban people the most basic freedoms enjoyed by vast majorities of their fellow Latin American neighbors. In the Middle East and North Africa, we need to support legitimate democratic forces and ensure political and economic freedoms are consolidated. In Asia, recent events further confirmed the necessity of prioritizing respect for political and economic freedoms in our bilateral relations with China and the broader Asia-Pacific region.
"All over the world, America has opportunities like these to clearly stand on the side of freedom and human rights, and we must ensure that our actions reflect this message to people who look to America for support."