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Ros-Lehtinen Calls on DOJ to Unequivocally Oppose Convicted Spy's Request to Travel to Cuba


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today urged the Department of Justice to unequivocally reject the request of convicted Cuban spy Rene Gonzalez, currently on parole in the United States, to travel to Cuba. The Department of Justice (DOJ) stated its opposition to Gonzalez's request on March 12, 2012, but also listed conditions that Gonzalez should adhere to were the request to be granted. Ros-Lehtinen said that security concerns should preclude any decision allowing Gonzalez to travel to Cuba. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

"Gonzalez was convicted in U.S. courts for his role in the murders of Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales, three U.S. citizens and one U.S. resident. The security concerns raised by law enforcement and U.S. intelligence agencies, who oppose Gonzalez's request to travel to Cuba, must not be ignored. Allowing Rene Gonzalez to travel to Cuba would be a dangerous mistake, and would jeopardize U.S. national security.

"Although the Department of Justice opposes Rene Gonzalez's motion to travel to Cuba, it has taken a step in the wrong direction by outlining conditions under which Gonzalez could be allowed to do so. There is no set of conditions under which we could allow Gonzalez to return to Cuba without risking U.S. security.

"Gonzalez's track record proves that his intentions are to hurt the United States. I urge the Department of Justice to protect U.S. security, and also to honor the Brother to the Rescue victims and their families, by stating explicitly that Rene Gonzalez will not be permitted to travel to Cuba. No way, no shape, no how."

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