Today, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), along with colleagues House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Congressman David Rivera (R-FL), and Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), met with representatives of IKEA of Sweden AB and IKEA North America Services, LLC, regarding recent press reports that IKEA may have contracted in the 1980s, through an East German supplier, with the Cuban regime to use prisoner slave labor to manufacture furniture.
Diaz-Balart issued the following statement after the meeting:
"Representatives from IKEA informed us that they have made this issue a top priority. IKEA has begun a thorough investigation to discover the extent of its role in contracting with the East German supplier, and with the Cuban regime to use forced prison labor. It has vowed to investigate the extent of its contractual and other involvement with the Castro dictatorship, including whether Cuban political prisoners had any hand in the manufacture of IKEA products, and to keep us informed about the results of that investigation. In addition, they have made it clear that they do not partake in any sort of business with Cuba.
It appears that IKEA is taking this matter very seriously, and that it has initiated concrete steps to discover the truth about IKEA's possible connection in the 1980s to the Castro regime, and to keep interested Members of Congress well informed about the progress of that investigation. I intend to follow the progress of that investigation very closely, and hold the corporate leadership of IKEA to its word."