"Sadly, we will not likely see progress in the fight against human trafficking, or any other human right, as long as tyrants like Castro and Maduro continue in power and the U.S. fails to take firm in action on behalf of those who are oppressed."
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, issued the following statement on the release of the State Department's 2014 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Human trafficking is a horrific crime that deprives up to 27 million people around the globe of their basic human rights and dignity. This crime causes great harm to all, but women and girls are disproportionately affected, with 55-65 percent of victims being women and 27 percent minors. No country is immune to the exploitation of human trafficking, as even the United States continues to look for ways to eradicate this crime once and for all.
"But as this report shows, the picture remains very bleak worldwide. The region with the highest rates of trafficking in persons is the Arabian Gulf, where migrant laborers are routinely exploited and women are sold into sexual slavery. And in our own Hemisphere, there are two clear gross offenders: Cuba and Venezuela. It's particularly sad, though not at all surprising, that Castro's Cuba continues as a Tier 3 country on this report -- a designation reserved for the world's worst offenders. In fact, the Castro tyranny has long supported the sex tourism industry in Cuba, which exploits women and children for the gain of those whom this murderous regime seeks to protect. That Venezuela has been added to the Tier 3 list is yet more evidence of the Maduro regime's complete disregard for the rule of law and basic human rights, which grows worse with each day. Sadly, we will not likely see progress in the fight against human trafficking, or any other human right, as long as tyrants like Castro and Maduro continue in power until the U.S. takes a firm stance on behalf of those who are oppressed."