Menendez Response to Flake's Cuba Insult

Thursday, January 24, 2013
The incoming Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) responded to U.S. Senator Jeff Flake's insulting comment that "spring breakers" in Cuba would somehow challenge the Castro regime:

I had no intention of raising it, but, you know, to suggest that spring break is a form of — a form of torture to the Castro regime — unfortunately, they are experts about torture, as is evidenced by the increasing brutal crackdown on peaceful democracy advocates on the island just in the last year, over 6,600 peaceful democracy advocates detained or arrested.

Just this past Sunday, the Ladies in White, a group of women who dress in white and march every Sunday with a gladiolus to church, tried to come together to go to church this past Sunday. And the result of that — these are individuals who are the relatives of former or current political prisoners in Castro’s jails — the result is that more than 35 of the Women in White were intercepted, beaten with belts, threatened to death by agents aiming guns at them and temporarily arrested.

And then we have a United States citizen who all he tried to do is give access to the Internet to a small Jewish population in Havana and has been languishing in jail for nearly four years. That’s real torture.”

You can see it here starting at the 3:59:00 mark.

Also, during this time, in response to Chairman Menendez, U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) gave his commitment in favor of democracy programs throughout the world.