U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement on the 18-year anniversary of the Brothers to the Rescue shootdown by the Castro regime which led to the deaths of three American citizens and one U.S. resident. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Today we commemorate the deaths of Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales, whose planes were unjustly shot down over international waters at Castro's orders. We remember these pilots and their families and praise them for their courage, but the best way to honor their memory is to recognize the Castro regime for what it is: a dictatorial regime that grievously violates the human rights of its people and collaborates with other rogue regimes to undermine our national security interests.
"Under Castro, Cuba has been designated by the U.S. as a State Sponsor of Terrorism since 1982 and continues to support terrorism and illicit activities through collaborating with North Korea and Iran. For years it has provided safe haven to fugitives of the law and members of foreign terrorist organizations, and just last summer it was revealed that Cuba was sending military equipment to North Korea in clear violation of numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions.
"This anniversary is a reminder of the brutality of the regime. I urge this Administration to take off its blinders and remain vigilant against this regime which remains a danger to the Cuban people."