Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) issued the following statement after press reports indicated that Mariela Castro, daughter and niece of Cuba's dictators, Raul and Fidel Castro, respectively, launched into a tirade about the Cuban American community during her visit to San Francisco. Ms. Castro then proceeded to not take questions from the gathered press.
"Mariela Castro is part of a ruthless dictatorship that has oppressed the Cuban people for more than half a century. She wants to spew out the lies and propaganda of her family's failed regime and doesn't want to answer questions from a free and independent media.
Since members of press organizations were not allowed to ask the dictator's daughter a single question, I thought I would ask her on their behalf: Why are you justifying a dictatorship that promotes sexual exploitation of young men and women? How can you excuse a cruel system that violates basic human rights?
Why do Cubans literally die taking the chance of reaching our shores and fleeing your family's tyranny? How can you excuse a regime that jails people for their opinions and allows no dissent of any kind, no political parties, no elections, no free press, and no freedom of assembly.
That is the Cuba of Ms. Castro and her family, and not the nation she describes as being on the pinnacle of advancing gay rights. In Castro's Cuba there are no rights, much less respect for the rights of the LGBT community. I hope that people can see through this sham."