Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart: Instead of Shaking Blood-Stained Hands of Cuban People's Oppressors, President Obama Should Meet With Courageous Pro-Democracy Activists

Mar 19, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement on the eve of President Obama's trip to Cuba. 

“Regrettably, President Obama will soon embark on a trip to once again embrace a brutal, murderous dictator in yet another shameful capitulation that does nothing to further U.S. national interests and help the Cuban people.  Of the many countries that he could grace with a presidential visit, he has chosen the only totalitarian dictatorship in our hemisphere.

“President Obama must demand the return of the more than seventy fugitives from U.S. justice including “Ten Most Wanted Terrorist” Joanne Chesimard, terrorist bomb maker William Morales, and Charles Hill.  He should remember the Brothers to the Rescue victims and demand that the indicted pilots Lorenzo Alberto Perez-Perez and Francisco Perez-Perez, and then-head of Cuba’s Air Force General Ruben Martinez Puente, be turned over to U.S. authorities to face justice for the murders of three innocent Americans and one U.S. resident.  He should demand that the Americans whose properties were stolen by the Castro regime receive just compensation.  He should demand that the Castro regime stop smuggling weapons to North Korea in violation of international sanctions.  He should demand that basic human rights and liberties are finally realized in Cuba.

“The President should refuse to shake the blood-stained hands of the Cuban people’s oppressors, and instead, meet with courageous activists who are Cuba's true leaders, such as Berta Soler, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez, Antonio Rodiles, and so many others who have suffered arrests, beatings and other despicable acts of repudiation at the hands of Castro’s thugs.  They are worthy of presidential recognition.

“Fortunately, everything that President Obama has done is entirely reversible; he cannot unilaterally undo the laws that Congress and presidents before him have enacted.  His trip has only symbolic and fleeting significance.  I, along with my colleagues in Congress, will continue to stand firmly with the Cuban people as they struggle to achieve free, fair, multi-party elections, independent press and labor unions, and the liberation of all political prisoners.  We will not join President Obama in his capitulations to an anti-American, brutal dictatorship that opposes U.S. interests at every opportunity."