U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement on the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Havana, Cuba. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"It's a sad day for democracy when heads of state and representatives from the OAS and the UN fail to meet with or even acknowledge pro-democracy and human rights advocates while attending a summit in Cuba, whose Castro regime denies its people any meaningful freedoms and human rights.
"Many of these leaders claim to care about universal principles of justice and dignity, but fail to recognize the gross human rights violations occurring in Cuba and do not condemn the recent crackdown on the people of Cuba leading up to and during the summit. Today, the failure of these leaders to support pro-democracy advocates on the island aid Castro in continuing complete control and 11 million Cubans are left more firmly in his cold, uncaring grip.
"It's disappointing and appalling that OAS Secretary General Insulza and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon do not stand in solidarity with the oppressed Cuban people and instead attempt to legitimize the harmful repressive tactics by the Castro dictatorship. It is time for the Obama administration to seriously reexamine U.S. taxpayer funding going to these dysfunctional organizations that run contrary to U.S. interests and do not advance the cause of human rights."