U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding the anniversary of Cuba's Independence Day observed on the 20th of May. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"This July we in the United States will celebrate the founding of this great democracy, where we are privileged to enjoy a vast array of freedoms and liberties. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the Cuban people, who continue to suffer under the oppressive yolk of the brutal dictators, Raul and Fidel Castro, even as they celebrate the anniversary of their nation's independence.
"These octogenarian tyrants have for over 50 years misruled and oppressed the Cuban people. Confronted with the reality of a decrepit economy that is the result of failed communist policies, the regime has only turned more violent against its own people. With a marked increase in gross human rights violations due to more detentions in the last year, as well as the continuing harassment and violent intimidation of brave dissidents like the Ladies in White, it is clear that the regime has no intention of letting up its control over the island.
"It's disappointing that the Obama Administration as well as several Latin American nations continue to make overtures toward this brutal regime which remains intent on trampling upon the dignity of the Cuban people. It's incumbent upon free and responsible nations to make sure the world knows the full extent and severity of the crimes of the Castro brothers. On the eve of the 20th of May, I am saddened that the Cuban people remain under the oppressive hand of these dictators, but I continue to stand in solidarity with those brave pro-democracy activists and know that one day they will soon enjoy true freedom and liberty."