Have You No Shame, President Obama?
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement condemning the Obama administration announcement that it would end special privileges for Cubans who attempt to escape the brutal oppression of the Castro regime.
"With just eight days left in his administration, President Obama has found one more way to frustrate the democratic aspirations of the Cuban people and provide yet another shameful concession to the Castro regime. Under President Obama's misguided view, after having removed the Castro regime from the state sponsor of terror list and granting diplomatic recognition, the next logical step is denying oppressed Cubans the presumption of political asylum.
"Since 1966, the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act has provided a lifeline to generations of Cubans fleeing oppression. Many made the treacherous journey to begin their lives anew in freedom, and others perished trying to escape. In addition, the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program provided a way for doctors forced to work under inhumane conditions for paltry salaries in foreign lands to escape their servitude.
"President Obama's policy toward the Castro regime has not improved human rights or increased liberty on the island. To the contrary, documented political arrests reached close to 10,000 in 2016 as renowned activists such as Berta Soler, Danilo Maldonado Machado "El Sexto," and labor activists including Ivan Carrillo Hernandez suffered brutal arrests just in the past few weeks. El Sexto remains in prison today and his American lawyer, Kim Motley, was harassed and interrogated while in Cuba simply for representing him. Cubans are leaving the island in record numbers, and many of the 53 who were released as part of the Obama-Castro deal were subsequently rearrested.
"President Obama's numerous concessions and extension of diplomatic recognition to the murderous Castro regime does not constitute an achievement. To the contrary, his policy has been a succession of betrayals of America's longstanding commitment to human rights and freedom, and a betrayal of the Cuban people who have suffered under oppression for far too long. This last act of diminishing lifelines to Cubans languishing in totalitarianism is one final despicable betrayal of a people who deserve better from an American president."