Duncan-Sires Press Obama on U.S. Hellfire Missile and Increase in Religious Freedom Abuses in Cuba

Saturday, January 16, 2016
Duncan and Sires Continue Oversight of Cuba’s Counterintelligence Actions and Abuses of Religious Freedom

Chairman Jeff Duncan (SC-03) and Ranking Member Albio Sires (NJ-08) of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere sent the following oversight letters to the Obama Administration regarding reports that Cuba has refused U.S. requests to retrieve a U.S. Hellfire missile that was sent to Havana in 2014 and that Cuba has increased its persecution of religious groups.

Chairman Duncan: “Two years ago, the Obama Administration knew that a serious security breach had occurred with the shipment of a U.S. Hellfire missile to Cuba. Yet, the Administration went ahead to utterly upend longstanding U.S.-Cuba policy and reward the Castro regime in numerous ways. What has the U.S. gotten out of these concessions to Cuba? Havana refuses to give back our missile and has likely shared the technology with Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela. Cuba also continues to increase its abuses of human rights, launching an assault on religious freedom in particular, and the State Department has remained silent. Congress has an oversight responsibility to require accountability from the Administration on their policies, and I look forward to their response to these letters.”

Ranking Member Sires: “The fact that Cuba was able to keep a U.S. Hellfire missile throughout the secret negotiations to normalize relations is further proof that the Castro Regime is the only benefactor of this misguided policy. I implore the Administration to do more to fight for the rights of the Cuban people and avoid actions that strengthen the hand of the Castro dictatorship. Our top priorities in Cuba should be to fight for the well-being, human rights, and liberation of the Cuban people.”

Click here to read letter on the U.S. Hellfire missile sent to Cuba.

Click here to read letter on religious freedom abuses in Cuba.