Chairman Duncan: Cuban Regime Has Clear Record of Supporting Terrorism, Illegal Activity and Repression

Friday, April 10, 2015
Congressman Jeff Duncan Issues Statement on U.S. Cuba Policy

Panama City, Panama—South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere issued the following statement regarding U.S. Cuba Policy while attending the Summit of the Americas in Panama City, Panama:

"The Cuban regime has a clear record of sponsoring terrorism, supporting illegal activity, and brutally oppressing its own people. While the Administration may be anxious to check the boxes on a few legacy items like U.S. Cuba policy, the fact remains that there is a strong bipartisan coalition in Congress that will insist on a host of democratic, humanitarian, and national security conditions being met first. The State Department is reportedly recommending that the President de-list Cuba from being considered a 'State Sponsor of Terrorism,' but it is worth noting that Congress has a constitutional responsibility to provide oversight of the Administration's actions and ensure they align with our national interests.

Over the past several months, I've had the privilege of meeting with members of the Cuban opposition community who have shared their stories of suffering under the Castro regime. This morning in Panama, our U.S. Congressional delegation continued that dialogue with a meeting of Cuban civil society dissidents who were attacked earlier this week in Panama by thugs from the Cuban Embassy. These brave Cuban individuals are here in Panama to urge governments to actively promote democratic governance and citizen participation. It is my hope that we will stand in solidarity with the Cuban people and that leaders in our hemisphere will take demonstrable action to hold governments, including the Castro regime, accountable as we move forward from this Summit. Empty promises and false assurances from the Castro regime must be met head-on with leadership and accountability from democratic countries in the region, and I look forward to working more closely together with our neighbors to achieve these ends.

The unrelenting and merciless oppression of the Cuban people by a regime hostile to liberty is a direct rejection of the values we as Americans hold as sacred. No regime should be rewarded for such appalling acts. There is no cause dearer to Americans than the cause of freedom. The Cuban people have not forgotten the oppression they face daily, and we will not forget about them."