U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement in regards to recent efforts by lawmakers to introduce legislation calling for an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba and lifting travel restrictions. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Once again, we see the same group of lawmakers seeking to eliminate U.S. restrictions on the Castro regime by offering legislation that is not only misguided, but reckless and dangerous. I'll continue to oppose these bills because they do nothing to further the freedom and human rights of the Cuban people, but rather serve to solidify the murderous regime's stranglehold over the island and attempt to provide an economic lifeline to the Castro brothers.
"These latest efforts by Castro apologists are a sober reminder that there are those in Congress who refuse to see the obvious -- that 50 plus years later, the Castro dictatorship has no intention of letting up its iron grip over the Cuban people. Just this week, Castro's state security agents surrounded and stoned the home of a leader of the Ladies in White and caused many women to have to be hospitalized due to their injuries. The regime will continue to hide behind so-called reforms in an effort to distract the attention from its atrocious and systematic violation of real basic freedoms and human rights.
"It's appalling that some lawmakers continue to offer legislation that seeks to help the dictatorship in Cuba and ignores the continuing gross human rights abuses in Cuba. Now more than ever, we must stand in solidarity with the freedom-hungry people of Cuba, and I am confident that my colleagues in Congress who support the Cuban people's struggle for democracy and freedom will remain united in its opposition to the Castro regime and these ludicrous legislative proposals."