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Public Statements

Diaz-Balart, King, and Garrett: Disgusted that U.S. Students Met with Fugitive from U.S. Justice During "Educational' Trip to Cuba

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Yesterday, Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Peter King (R-NY), and Scott Garrett (R-NJ) sent a letter to President Obama expressing disgust that, due to abuses of weakened travel regulations under the Obama administration, U.S. students recently met with a fugitive from U.S. justice while purportedly on an "educational" trip to Cuba, which currently harbors more than seventy fugitives from U.S. justice. You may view a copy of the letter here.

Diaz-Balart said: "It is an outrage that, while on a so-called "educational' trip to Cuba, permitted by President Obama's weakened sanctions, at least one U.S. university arranged for its students to meet with a potentially violent fugitive from U.S. justice. The Cuban regime, one of only four U.S.-designated State Sponsors of Terrorism, welcomes enemies of the United States with open arms. It is appalling that an American university, aided by the administration's weakened regulations, would expose its students to enemy propaganda from the mouths of criminals. My heart goes out to the families of those who fell victim to U.S. fugitives still receiving safe harbor in Cuba. Their losses are not forgotten, and the murderers, who have enjoyed solace from an enemy state for far too long, must be brought to justice. In the mean time, it is incumbent on the President of the United States to ensure that his expanded travel no longer compounds the injustice by licensing travel to those who seek to meet with fugitives."

King said: "The issue of Cuba providing safe harbor to an assortment of fugitives including - cop killers, FALN terrorists and other assorted thugs is an ongoing disgrace. The fact that impressionable, young American adults are provided an opportunity to meet with these individuals is an insult to the victims, their families and our justice system. We need to know what is being done to extradite these fugitives, or are they now simply future "educational activities' for American children to interact with while in Cuba?"

Garrett said: "I am concerned that the Obama Administration's definition of an "educational experience' includes having American college students meet with fugitives in a country that sponsors terrorism and gives refuge to violent offenders. This incident puts a spotlight on the Obama Administration's ineptness when it comes to enforcing sanctions and protecting American safety abroad. The victims of the crimes perpetrated by those being safely harbored by the anti-American Cuban regime deserve to know if this meeting was an isolated incident or part of a much larger systematic abuse of licensed travel."


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