U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, stated today that true courage is embodied in heroes such as Cuban activists Yosvel Ramos, Idalberto Acuña, and Santiago Cardozo, and all those who oppose the oppressive Castro regime. Ros-Lehtinen commented after American swimmer Diana Nyad's used the word "courage" to promote her attempt to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Nyad may have shouted "courage' as she began her attempt to swim from Cuba to the Florida Keys, but real courage is embodied by those who have struggled against the repressive Castro regime for over 50 years. Countless courageous individuals have made this perilous journey through Cuban waters not for sport but to escape tyranny. She is swimming over those brave souls who were desperately seeking freedom but are now at the bottom of the sea.
"True courage is embodied by opposition leaders like Yosvel, Idalberto, and Santiago who were arrested last week for distributing leaflets in support of human rights. It is the brave individuals who risk their lives standing up for the basic rights and dignity of those living under the Castro tyranny that should be celebrated.
"We must stand in solidarity with Yosvel, Idalberto, and Santiago as their actions and all those who personify courage in the face of oppression."