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Congressman Sires' Statement on President Obama's Announcement to Travel to Cuba

Feb 18, 2016
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.)-  Congressman Sires issued the following statement on President Obama’s upcoming trip to Cuba:

“The President’s announcement this morning that he will travel to Cuba next month is extremely troubling and represents yet another concession to the Castro brothers while the Cuban people continue to languish without access to basic freedoms.  This trip sets a dangerous precedent for U.S. presidents visiting dictators in Latin America and is another step towards legitimizing a dictatorial regime that thrives on the backs of innocent Cuban people. 

President Obama previously stated that he would only travel to Cuba if he can meet with pro-democracy dissidents there and it is my hope that the President stands by his words.  Prior to his travel to the island, the President must also insist on the return of the FBI’s number one terrorist, Joanne Chesimard, who murdered New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and still roams freely in Cuba.

President Obama’s trip is under the guise of charting a new course for U.S.-Cuban relations and connecting U.S. and Cuban citizens however, since the Administration has taken a new direction in Cuba policy, Cubans have been arrested and repressed at higher rates than ever before. Unfortunately, the President continues to reward this oppressive regime and give away any leverage that the U.S. has to improve the lives of ordinary Cubans.”