Senator Mel Martinez's Farewell Remarks

Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Excerpt from U.S. Senator Mel Martinez of Florida's farewell speech this morning on the floor of the U.S. Senate:

"I have brought to my work the belief that it is always necessary to provide a voice for those silenced for attempting to advance the cause of freedom.

Having lived under Cuba's repressive dictatorship, I have always recognized the struggle of those who fight for freedom. That has always been and will continue to be a lifelong passion.

I have taken every opportunity to recognize those engaged in Cuba's peaceful civic struggle for democratic change in Cuba and stand up for their human rights: Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, AntĂșnez, the Damas de Blanco (the "Ladies in White"), and the victims of the Black Spring government crackdowns.

It is my fervent hope that one day in the not too distant future, the people of Cuba will live in freedom with dignity and the hope for a better tomorrow that is their God-given right.

Even though I will no longer hold public office, my passion to work and devote myself to seeing a day when the people of Cuba can live in freedom will continue.

The preservation of all freedoms whether they be in Cuba or around the world calls us to stand up whenever and wherever it is threatened."