Friday, June 24, 2011

Cuba Study Group: Amendment hurts Cuban families

Cuba Study Group Director Thomas Bilbao
Here is a Cuba Study Group statement on Mario Diaz-Balart's amendment, which would restore Bush administration travel restrictions:

Washington, DC- The Cuba Study Group today issued the following statement in reaction to an amendment offered yesterday by Representative Mario Diaz-Balart to an appropriations bill, which would restrict the ability of Cuban-Americans to visit and help their families in Cuba:

“It is unfortunate that Representative Mario Diaz-Balart continues to use the suffering of Cuban families as a weapon in furthering a failed policy aimed at the Cuban regime.

At a time when the Cuban government has found it necessary to implement reforms, and Cubans are increasingly becoming independent of the state, Representative Diaz-Balart’s efforts only add to the isolation and suffering of the Cuban people and make a democratic transition on the island less likely.

Democratic transitions from authoritarian rule in Eastern Europe, apartheid South Africa and even the Arab Spring we are now witnessing, have proven that contact with the outside world has played a crucial role in promoting those changes. In none of these successful cases, did the U.S. restrict contact between U.S. civil society and those nations.

We reject Representative Diaz-Balart’s efforts to use the suffering of Cuban families as an instrument of a policy, which has failed to yield any positive results for over 50 years. The Cuban revolution has brought enough suffering to Cuban families and policymakers should offer a U.S. policy that stands in sharp contrast to it, not one that contributes to that suffering in hopes of maintaining the status quo or furthering a sterile policy.”

The House Committee on Appropriations approved Representative Diaz-Balart’s amendment in a voice vote yesterday. The amendment repeals regulatory changes enacted by President Obama in April of 2009 and return to the policies of January 2009, when President George W. Bush enacted the most severe restrictions on travel to the island.


Unknown said...

since when tomas [not Thomas], saladrigas & company care about cuban families???? they care only about their business and castro's regime interests.

Rich Haney, Cubaninsider said...

Mario Diaz-Balart is a prime example of why overthrown U.S. - backed dictatorships should not be allowed to flee to and quickly reconstitute their dictatorship on U. S. soil, such as the Miami area that has sent Mario and others of his ilk (such as his older brother Lincoln) to the U. S. Congress. Their father Rafael Diaz-Balart was the Majority Leader of the Cuban House of Representatives and Minister of the Interior in Cuba's brutal/thieving Batista/Mafia dictatorship before greatly enhancing his wealth and power in his new safe haven. As with his new "voice-approved" cowardly attachment to a real bill, Mario's latest monolithic diatribe is designed to punish the majority of Americans, including Cuban Americans, as well as 11.3 million Cubans on the island. The sinuous Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen revenge seekers mock the American democracy when the tenacles of the banana republic in South Florida reaches into the bowels of the U. S. Congress and, in conjunction with right-wing benefactors such as Jesse Helms, Bob Torricelli, the Bushes, etc., spawns its venom that spreads like a viral cancer. It was 63 years ago that Rafael Diaz-Balart, Meyer Lansky, Fulgencio Batista, etc., were booted off the island to, as it turned out, an even more lucrative bonanza for ex-dictators. To sate the revenge factor of a few monoliths, how many more generations of Americans and Cubans must be punished endlessly, not to mention the disfigurement of the once proud and stately U. S. democracy? Do you have no shame, Mario, when you punish even your fellow Cuban Americans to sate your desire for revenge against Cuba once defined as "overthrowing" Castro? Do you imagine, as was your father, that you are in the Cuban, not the American, congress? The U. S. Congress, Mario, has urgent topics not related to Cuba it should be dealing with as opposed to anti-Cuban attachments authored by revenge-minded Cuban Americans.

Rich Haney, Cubaninsider said...

CORRECTION: The Batista dictatorship that included Rafael Diaz-Balart (the brother of Fidel's first wife Mirta Diaz-Balart) was booted off the island of Cuba 53 years ago (Jan. 1-1959), not 63 years ago.