Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart, and Curbelo React to Death of Fidel Castro

Nov 26, 2016
Press Release

MIAMI -- Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), and Carlos Curbelo (FL-27) released the following statement after the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. 

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen:

“The day that the people, both inside the island and out, have waited for has arrived: A tyrant is dead and a new beginning can dawn on the last remaining communist bastion of the Western hemisphere.  The message is now very clear to those who think they will continue to misrule Cuba through oppression and fear. Enough is enough. The Cuban people have been shortchanged for too long to continue down this reviled path.

Those who still rule Cuba with an iron grip may attempt to delay the island’s liberation, but they cannot stop it.  Castro’s successors cannot hide and must not be allowed to hide beneath cosmetic changes that will only lengthen the malaise of the Cuban nation. No regime, no matter who leads it, will have a shred of legitimacy if it has not been chosen by the people of Cuba in free and fair elections.

Fidel’s apologists around the world can help to restore freedom and human rights for Cuba by joining the call for the new regime to free the hundreds of freedom fighters and pro-democracy activists still locked in Castro’s prisons.

Not until the gulags are closed, elections are held, political prisoners are freed and liberty is restored can the United States lawfully end its embargo against the communist regime in Havana. The time to act is now.

We must seize the moment and help write a new chapter in the history of Cuba; that of a Cuba that is free, democratic, and prosperous. A Cuba where faith in God has prevailed over tyranny, a Cuba whose people rose up to meet the challenges placed before them and overcame them through sheer patriotism and love of country.”

Rep. Diaz-Balart:

“Today, a tyrant is dead.  Although his totalitarian dictatorship deeply scarred a once prosperous nation, his death ushers in a renewed hope that the Cuban people finally will be free.  Now we must work even harder toward achieving liberty, basic rights, and free, multi-party elections for the Cuban people.

"The dictator has the blood of innocents on his hands, and his dictatorship is guilty of torture, murder and numerous other atrocities. As an evil dictator finally faces his Creator, the malevolent Castro dictatorship continues.  Shamefully, President Obama has spent the past eight years attempting to cede important leverage to the ailing Castro regime.  Despite President Obama's collaboration and betrayal of America's longstanding mission to promote freedom, the American people continue their strong solidarity with the Cuban people in their struggle for free elections, human rights, and liberty.”

Rep. Curbelo:

"Cuban dictator Fidel Castro terrorized the people of Cuba for decades with religious and political persecution, oppression of free speech and free press, and disrespect for basic human rights. His passing marks the end of a long, horrifying chapter in Cuba's history.

"For the past 50-plus years Castro and his regime undermined American interests in Latin America and on our home-front. His anti-American policies and relationships with brutal regimes like Iran and North Korea have proved a significant threat to our national security time and time again. Policies that have not changed despite the Obama Administration's endless concessions to the regime over the past two years. 

"Now more than ever, the people of Cuba need our solidarity. Our country and all of our democratic allies must demand political reforms that secure the human rights of all Cubans."