Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Diaz-Balart Recaps President Obama’s Shameful Trip to Visit with Castro Regime in Cuba

Mar 23, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s trip to Cuba.

“President Obama's attendance at a baseball game, gleeful handshakes with the Cuban people's oppressors, and seeming apologetic tone with continued requests for ‘indulgence’ were sickening to those who know the true malevolence of the Castro regime that is responsible for the deaths of activists Oswaldo Paya, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Laura Pollan, and Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia, Harold Cepero, and Wilman Villar Mendoza during the Obama presidency alone.  It is shameful that President Obama seeks to sustain the same dictatorship that murdered Brothers to the Rescue humanitarians Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Jr., Mario De la Pena, and Pablo Morales, harbors more than 70 fugitives from U.S. justice including terrorists and indicted murderers, struck down dozens of men, women and children in the Tugboat Massacre of 1994, and routinely imprisons pro-democracy and human rights activists.

“As of Monday evening, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation estimated approximately 304 political arrests during the President's trip, on top of the 1,447 political arrests in January and 1,141 in February this year. Among those arrested during the President's trip were more than 50 Members of the Ladies in White and more than 20 other activists on Palm Sunday.  Renowned activists Berta Soler, Antonio Rodiles, and Pastor Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso were among those arrested, and many more were placed on house arrest.  The Directorio Democratico Cubano responded to the dictator's laughable comment that Cuba has no political prisoners with a partial list.  For Directorio's list of current political prisoners in Cuba, click here.

“Fortunately, the policies promulgated by one man without the consent of Congress are reversible, and the Cuban people will gain their freedom despite the President's concessions to the Castro dictatorship.  Now that President Obama's trip is over, the Cuban people will continue their struggle for human rights and essential liberties.  They will do so despite President Obama's continued and shameful overtures to their oppressors.”