Diaz-Balart, Republican Leadership and Colleagues Comment on House Democrats’ Vote Against H.Res. 868
WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), along with the original co-sponsors of H.Res. 868, released the following statements after House Democratic Leadership blocked a resolution that would condemn Senator Bernie Sanders’ false comments on Cuba and Fidel Castro. The original co-sponsors of this resolution include House Republican Whip, Steve Scalise (LA-1), Republican Conference Chairwoman, Liz Cheney (WY-At Large), Michael T. McCaul (TX-10), Michael Waltz (FL-6), and Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16).
Watch Rep. Diaz-Balart’s Floor Speech here.
“It’s shameful that House Democratic Leadership Refused the opportunity to condemn Senator Bernie Sanders’ inaccurate, hurtful, and irresponsible comments on the racist, terrorist Castro regime,” said Rep. Diaz-Balart. Unlike Sen. Sanders and House Democratic Leadership, I’m proud to, once again, stand with my Republican colleagues in solidarity with the Cuban people and not with the regime that oppresses them.”
“Senator Sanders’ remarks praising the achievements of a murderous, communist dictatorship are outrageous and insulting. Thousands of Cubans fled Fidel Castro’s firing squads and resettled in America — Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart knows many of these patriots personally as friends and constituents. They are a living testament to the barbarity of the Castro regime and the promise of the American dream. The natural progression of socialist policies is a totalitarian state that deprives its citizens of basic freedoms and human rights. Democrats know this — they’ve seen it in Cuba, Venezuela, China, and other places — yet they just voted against acknowledging this basic truth and condemning Senator Sanders’ remarks. Shameful. I am proud to be an original cosponsor of Rep. Diaz-Balart’s resolution and I am deeply disappointed that most Democrats did not join us in rejecting Senator Sanders’ comments,” said Republican Whip Steve Scalise.
“Despite their attempts to separate themselves from Bernie Sanders, House Democrats' refusal to condemn what he said about the Castro regime shows that there is no distance between them and his socialist agenda,” said Republican Conference Chairwoman, Liz Cheney. I applaud Rep. Diaz-Balart for introducing this legislation and for continuing the fight to defend the freedom that has made America exceptional.”
“Today House Democrats had a simple choice: stand up against socialism and human rights abuses or defend the tyrannical communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro,” said Rep. Michael McCaul. I’m sad that too many of my colleagues chose the latter. As Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I’ve seen the disastrous consequences of socialist dictatorships around the world and am gravely concerned that the leading Democrat nominee has high praise not only for Fidel Castro, but for the Chinese Communist Party. His embrace of socialism and communism is not the right example for the American people he hopes to lead. I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the resolution condemning Senator Sanders’s comments praising Fidel Castro and am thankful that Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart is such a strong voice in Congress for the millions of Cubans who came to America after suffering under the despotic Castro regime.”
“Fidel Castro was a tyrant and a gross human rights violator who stripped away basic civil liberties from the Cuban people, which has sadly continued to this day,” said Re. Michael Waltz. Socialism and communism have no place in the free world, let alone on the platform of one of our major political parties. These careless and out-of-touch remarks are not the values I fought for in service of my country and I’m proud to stand with the people of Cuba who yearn for freedom.”
“My grandparents and father fled Cuba for their lives at the start of the Castro Regime. They saw their country lost to a brutal dictator and his socialist policies. The literacy program idolized by Senator Sanders was a re-education program used by the Castro regime to indoctrinate citizens and weed out those who were against them. Brutal policies like these are contrary to the American way of life, but they are innate to the implementation of socialist policies like those that tore down the Cuba of my grandparents’ childhood,” said Rep. Gonzalez. “To see leading candidates for President on the Democratic side touting such policies and the benefits of socialism is incredibly disappointing. I will proudly stand against socialism and the brutality that accompanies it and I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in Congress to do the same.”