Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

FLORIDA's 27th DISTRICT

Segunda Ronda de Negociaciones Entre La Habana y Washington Socavan los Valores Americanos y Nuestra Seguridad Nacional, Dice Ros-Lehtinen

2015/02/28

Segunda Ronda de Negociaciones Entre La Habana y Washington Socavan los Valores Americanos y Nuestra Seguridad Nacional, Dice Ros-Lehtinen 

“Estas conversaciones equivocadas con el régimen de los Castro, como las continuas concesiones por los Estados Unidos no ayudaran al pueblo de Cuba y solo legitimaran y animaran a la tiranía cubana”

(Washington, DC) – La Congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Presidenta del Subcomité del Medio Oriente y África del Norte, hizo la siguiente declaración sobre las negociaciones entre los Estados Unidos y Cuba. Declaró Ros-Lehtinen:

 “Es absolutamente vergonzoso ver a los Estados Unidos negociar con Cuba en la misma semana que se conmemoro el 19 aniversario del derribo de los Hermanos al Rescate. Que Raúl Castro le haya otorgado medallas al espía cubano Gerardo Hernández, quien jugó un rol en el asesinato de tres ciudadanos americanos y un residente permanente es un síntoma despreciable de la naturaleza del régimen a cambiar sus métodos  represivos. Estas conversaciones equivocadas con el régimen de los Castro, como las continuas concesiones por los Estados Unidos no ayudaran al pueblo de Cuba y solo legitimaran y animaran a la tiranía cubana.

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Second Round of Talks Between Havana and Washington Undercut American Values, Undermine Our National Security, Says Ros-Lehtinen

2015/02/27

Second Round of Talks Between Havana and Washington Undercut American Values, Undermine Our National Security, Says Ros-Lehtinen

“These misguided talks with the Castro regime, as well as the continued concessions by the United States, will not help the people of Cuba and instead only legitimize and embolden the Cuban tyranny”

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding the talks between the United States and Cuba. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“It is most appalling to see the United States negotiate with Cuba in the same week it commemorated the 19th anniversary of the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down. Raul Castro pinning medals to Cuban spy Gerardo Hernandez, who played a role in the murder of three U.S. citizens and one permanent resident, is an appalling symptom of the regime’s refusal to change its repressive nature. These misguided talks with the Castro regime, as well as the continued concessions by the United States, will not help the people of Cuba and instead only legitimize and embolden the Cuban tyranny."

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Week of February 23

2015/02/27


Administration Continues to Ignore Human Rights in Misguided Iran Nuke Talks, Says Ros-Lehtinen

2015/02/26

Administration Continues to Ignore Human Rights in Misguided Iran Nuke Talks, Says Ros-Lehtinen

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, delivered the following remarks today at an Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations and Middle East and North Africa joint subcommittee hearing entitled, “The Shame of Iranian Human Rights.” Opening statement by Ros-Lehtinen (as prepared for delivery):

“Chairman Smith, thank you for holding this joint subcommittee hearing on this important topic. This is the third joint hearing that you and I have held on Iranian human rights and I am appreciative for your continued leadership on this issue.

I want to first start with some good news: we confirmed yesterday that Rozita Vaseghi was finally released last month after a five-year sentence in Iranian prison. Rozita is a member of the persecuted Baha’i community, Iran’s largest non-Muslim religious minority, and I “adopted” her as a prisoner of conscience last year as part of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission’s Defending Freedoms Project. While I am relieved that Rozita has been released and will be able to get the health care she needs after years of mistreatment and solitary confinement, we know that her ordeal is not over. She has not been given any paperwork, authorities have not told her whether she might have to serve a second five-year term, or even another arbitrary two-year term, and she fears that she could be thrown back in prison at any time. We all continue to pray for Rozita and her safety.

Mr. Chairman, the Iranian regime uses tactics like those used against Rozita every day to instill fear in the Iranian people. Iran’s human rights practices are among the worst in the world. But in its desperation to secure a nuclear deal, the Obama administration has completely ignored the issue of human rights in Iran as well as the many other concerns we have with the Iranian regime. This serves as another example of a policy of the White House to look the other way on human rights violations as part of any negotiation.

This was evident with Cuba. The Administration is hosting regime officials tomorrow after the Castro state security folks have arrested over 300 civil society activists in the last two weeks. Among them was Berta Soler, who testified before your subcommittee, Chairman Smith, three weeks ago. In these secret talks with Cuba, the administration showed its willingness to trade away the store for little concessions in return. So the question becomes, what will the administration trade for next with Iran?

What will the Administration give up in return for those American citizens who are being held in Tehran? The parallels between how the White House is negotiating in secret with Cuba and Iran at the same time is frightening. What the administration has never understood or has chosen to ignore is that Congress passed strong sanctions laws not just to stop Iran’s nuclear program but also its ballistic missile and other weapons programs its worldwide support for terror and destabilization of the region and its abysmal human rights record. As the author of many Iran related sanctions legislation, I can tell you that from the very beginning this administration fought Congress tooth and nail to stop any sanctions at all.

And so it is of surprise to no one that the human rights issue is not even part of the discussion when we talk about a nuclear deal. And now it appears increasingly likely that the administration will give away what little leverage we have left and leave the Ayatollahs free to continue to oppress the Iranian people, to continue jailing, torturing, and executing dissidents prisoners of conscience, and religious and ethnic minorities. It is truly shameful to hear our State Department talk about the importance of global human rights when it does absolutely nothing and in fact is indirectly legitimizing the continued repression of the Iranian people.

The Obama administration, after failing to support the Iranian people’s right of self-determination during 2009’s Green Movement, rushed to brand Rouhani as a moderate, saying that human rights under this Ayatollah lackey would somehow improve. But what we’ve seen has been just the opposite – human rights under Rouhani have gotten even worse. There have been more crackdowns on free speech, more arrests and jailings of journalists and political prisoners, more persecution of women, the LGBT community, and religious and ethnic minorities, and more executions.

According to the latest report from Human Rights Watch, the real number of executions in Iran in 2014 is thought to be over 600, including 8 who were under the age of 18. We still cannot confirm the possible execution last week of Saman Nasim, a 22-year old ethnic Kurd who was 17 when he was arrested. Bloggers and social media users have also suffered under Rouhani, with security forces cracking down sharply on any dissent, especially those considered leading members of the opposition.

Members of the Baha’i community, like Rozita, are especially targeted, with 100 Baha’is currently in prison. Baha’i cemeteries are systematically destroyed, including last year’s bulldozing of over 1,000 graves in one city in order to build a cultural and sports complex. And May 14 is the 7-year anniversary of the imprisonment of the Baha’i seven, the former leadership group who have been serving 20 year sentences for advocating on behalf of their beliefs.

The regime hopes that we will move on and forget about the people of Iran, as the U.S. administration continues to negotiate solely on the nuclear program, and that there are at least four unjustly jailed Americans in Iranian prisons: Saeed Abedini, a Christian Pastor who has been in jail since 2012 and has been tortured and beaten by prison guards and inmates; Marine Veteran Amir Hekmati, who has been held since 2011 and whose health is rapidly deteriorating as he is beaten and tortured; Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post bureau chief arrested last year who has still not been charged, is in solitary confinement, and whose health is also declining; And Bob Levinson, a South Florida resident and constituent of my friend Ted Deutch who has been held captive by the Iranian regime since March 9, 2007, making him the longest held hostage in U.S. history.

These four U.S. citizens are just a few of the many millions who continue to suffer under the Iranian regime. Tragically, that suffering is not part of the administration’s calculus. Human rights are an essential factor in long-term stability and should be a key objective in our foreign policy strategy for both those suffering under tyranny and our own national security. We must not allow Iranian human rights to be ignored by this administration.”

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Ros-Lehtinen To Deliver Welcoming Remarks At FIU Cybersecurity Conference

2015/02/26

Ros-Lehtinen To Deliver Welcoming Remarks At FIU Cybersecurity Conference

Miami, FL – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL – 27), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, will welcome attendees to FIU’s Cybersecurity conference “Rogue Nations, Hackers, and Hollywood: The Sony Affair and its Implications for Business, National Security, and Public Policy” on Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 9:00am – 9:10am. Ros-Lehtinen is a two-time graduate of Florida International University, earning both Bachelors and Masters Degrees from FIU.

WHO: Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL – 27), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee

WHAT: Ros-Lehtinen delivers welcoming remarks at FIU’s Cybersecurity conference “Rogue Nations, Hackers, and Hollywood: The Sony Affair and its Implications for Business, National Security, and Public Policy”

WHEN: Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 9:00am

WHERE: FIU SIPA Auditorium at FIU’s School of International and Public Affairs, located at FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus, 11200 Southwest 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199 

 

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Ros-Lehtinen: Cuba Poses A Clear And Present Danger To The United States

2015/02/26

Ros-Lehtinen: Cuba Poses A Clear And Present Danger To The United States

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R – FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, delivered the following remarks at a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing titled “The President’s New Cuba Policy and U.S. National Security.” Opening Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Remarks

Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere Hearing: The President’s New Cuba Policy and U.S. National Security

February 26, 2015

Thank you Mr. Chairman, for calling this important and timely hearing. Let me be clear: Cuba poses a clear and present danger to the United States. The Castro regime undermines our national security at every turn and reinforces instability in the entire region by exporting their Cuban military and espionage apparatus across the region. The ALBA countries have security advisors who are Cuban nationals. Some ALBA countries even send diplomats overseas who are undercover Cuban agents. Cuba is an avowed enemy of the United States and let me cite these bullet points just in the recent years that the Castro regime done:

·         has killed American citizens in the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down, 19 years ago this week;

·         has worked with the Russians to try to re-open the Lourdes spy facility in Cuba;

·         has allowed Russian spy ships to dock in Havana as recently as just a few days ago;

·         was caught sending arms and military equipment last year to North Korea in violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions;

·         the Castro regime is hiding U.S. fugitives of law and has given asylum to Joanne Chesimard who is considered a Most Wanted Terrorist by our FBI;

·         it has given safe haven to terrorist groups such as the FARC and ETA;

·         has sent military advisors to Venezuela who have caused the deaths of many Venezuelans due to the violence perpetrated by the thugs of Nicolas Maduro;

·         the Castro regime has penetrated our own intelligence services with spies working for the Castro regime like Ana Belen Montes and Kendall Myers;

·         had Cuban agents torture and beat American POWs at a prison camp in North Vietnam known as “The Zoo”;

·         has sent troops to Angola in the 1970’s and 80’s to further destabilize the country and fight alongside leftist movements contrary to U.S. interests;

·         has ties with Iran, with Russia, with Syria, and the list goes on, Mr. Chairman.

Yet, all these realities have been ignored by the Obama administration. Tomorrow, as we have pointed out, the Department of State will roll out the red carpet for officials from the Castro regime. The lead negotiator, Josefina Vidal, who was a Cuban spy in the United States who was actually kicked out, along with her husband, from the U.S. due to their illicit espionage activities. And now, she’s negotiating for the Castro regime.

I firmly believe that the President’s concessions to the Castro brothers on December 17 poses a real national security threat. And here’s why. It is well known that Cuba has one of the world’s more advanced espionage apparatuses. And that apparatus is aimed right at our country and here very much active in our nation’s capital in Washington, DC. We know that Cuba has had spies on the Hill and in many U.S. government agencies.

So the President’s new policies provide an injection of new money to the regime – millions of dollars. And this new money will go straight into the pockets of the Castro brothers and the Cuban military which owns a majority and operates the tourist industry in Cuba. of Cuba’s tourism industry. With this new infusion of capital, the Cubans will be able to provide more resources towards their espionage activities directed at us. And what will they do with the intelligence that they gather? They will sell it to our enemies – to the highest bidder on the black market. These are just some of the reasons Mr. Chairman of why Cuba does pose a national security threat to the U.S. and why it should remain on the State sponsor of Terrorism list. The White House must stop putting politics ahead of our national security. 

  On January 3, 1961, President Eisenhower terminated diplomatic relations with Cuba after the Cuban regime decided to expel several United States personnel from Havana. President Eisenhower responded by stating, “this calculated action on the part of the Castro government is only the latest of a long series of harassments, baseless accusations, and vilification. There is a limit to what the United States in self-respect can endure. That limit has now been reached. Meanwhile our sympathy goes out to the people of Cuba now suffering under the yoke of a dictator.” President Obama should learn from history that negotiating with the Castro regime is a failed endeavor.

  

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Este 19 Aniversario del Derribo de los Hermanos al Rescate, Ros-Lehtinen, Díaz-Balart y Curbelo Envían Carta a Fiscal General Pidiendo que Miembros del Régimen Cubano Responsables por el Asesinato de Cuatro Americanos Sean Traídos a La Justicia.

2015/02/24

Este 19 Aniversario del Derribo de los Hermanos al Rescate, Ros-Lehtinen, Díaz-Balart y Curbelo Envían Carta a Fiscal General Pidiendo que Miembros del Régimen Cubano Responsables por el Asesinato de Cuatro Americanos Sean  Traídos a La Justicia.

(Washington, DC) – La Congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Presidenta del Subcomité del Medio Oriente y África del Norte, se unió a colegas cubano-americanos en el Congreso los Reps. Mario Díaz Balart (R-FL) y Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) enviándole una carta al Fiscal General Eric Holder solicitando que Rubén Martínez Puente, Lorenzo Alberto Pérez y Pérez y Francisco Pérez y Pérez sean traídos a la justicia en los Estados Unidos a enfrentar las acusaciones criminales por sus roles en el derribo de los cuatro pilotos de Hermanos al Rescate que resultaron en la muerte de tres ciudadanos americanos y un residente permanente. Declaración conjunta de Ros-Lehtinen, Díaz-Balart y Curbelo:

“Hoy marca el 19 aniversario de la muerte de tres ciudadanos americanos, Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Mario de la Peña y un residente permanente, Pablo Morales. Las familias sobrevivientes de los pilotos de Hermanos al Rescate merecen justicia. El gobierno de los Estados Unidos debe seguir todos los caminos necesarios para traer a los Estados Unidos a cualquier miembro del régimen cubano responsable por el asesinato de estos hombres. La administración Obama ha puesto en peligro nuestra seguridad nacional y ha cometido un grave error al enviar a Gerardo Hernández y los otros espías declarados culpables de regreso a Cuba. Es insultante que en la semana que conmemora el aniversario del derribo,  el Departamento de Estado extienda su alfombra roja a los funcionarios cubanos que representan al régimen asesino que mató a Carlos, Armando, Mario y Pablo.

Para leer esta carta, haz clic aquí

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On 19th Year Anniversary of Brothers to the Rescue Shootdown, Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart and Curbelo Send Letter to Attorney General Asking That Members of the Cuban Regime Responsible For Murdering Four Americans Be Brought To Justice

2015/02/24

On 19th Year Anniversary of Brothers to the Rescue Shootdown, Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart and Curbelo Send Letter to Attorney General Asking That Members of the Cuban Regime Responsible For Murdering Four Americans Be Brought To Justice

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, was joined by fellow Cuban-American Members of Congress, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), in sending a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking that Ruben Martinez Puente, Lorenzo Alberto Perez y Perez, and Francisco Perez y Perez be brought to justice in the U.S. to face pending criminal indictments for their roles in the shoot-down of four Brothers to the Rescue pilots, which resulted in the murder of three American citizens and one U.S. resident. Joint statement by Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart, and Curbelo:

“Today marks the 19th anniversary of the murder of three U.S. citizens, Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Mario de la Peña, and one U.S. resident, Pablo Morales. The surviving families of those Brothers to the Rescue pilots deserve justice, and the United States government must pursue all avenues to bring to the U.S. any Cuban regime member responsible for the murder of these men. The Obama administration jeopardized our national security and made a grave mistake in sending Gerardo Hernandez and the other convicted Cuban spies back to Cuba. It is quite an insult that on the week commemorating the anniversary of the shoot-down, the State Department will roll out the red carpet to Cuban officials who represent the murderous regime that killed Carlos, Armando, Mario, and Pablo.”

To view the final, signed letter, please click here.

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Letter From Ros-Lehtinen, Diaz-Balart and Curbelo to Attorney General Asking That Members of the Cuban Regime Responsible For Murdering Four Americans Be Brought To Justice

2015/02/24


Week of February 16

2015/02/20


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Contact Information

2206 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3931
Fax 202-225-5620
ros-lehtinen.house.gov

I am proud to represent Florida’s 27th Congressional District, a diverse area which includes Coral Gables, Cutler Bay, Hialeah, Key Biscayne, Little Havana, Miami, Pinecrest, South Miami, and Westchester.

I was born in Havana, Cuba on July 1952. At the age of eight, my family and I were forced to flee from the oppressive communist regime of Fidel Castro. We settled in Miami and put down permanent roots in our community. I attended Southside Elementary School in Little Havana, West Miami Junior High, and Southwest High School. In the years following, I earned an Associate of Arts degree from Miami-Dade Community College in 1972, Bachelors and Masters Degree in Education from Florida International University in 1975 and 1985 respectively, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Miami in 2004. I consider education a lifelong journey.

I began my career as a Florida certified teacher. I also founded and served as the principal and teacher of a private bilingual elementary school in Hialeah. I was inspired to enter public service by many of the parents and students; to fight on their behalf for a stronger educational system, lower taxes, and a brighter economic future.

In 1982 I was elected to the Florida State House of Representatives and the Florida Senate in 1986, becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve in either body. In the state legislature I authored the Florida Prepaid College Plan, which is now the largest pre paid college tuition program in the nation. More than one million Florida families have used this program to send their children to college.

I was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1989– the first Hispanic woman to serve in Congress–following a special election to fill the seat held by the late Claude Pepper. I have been strongly returned to Congress since, winning 60% of the vote in 2012.

To this day, I remain committed to improving the lives of my constituents and our beautiful South Florida community. As the economy remains a pressing issue, I support reducing taxes and cutting back unnecessary government spending. I also support plans to balance the federal budget and increase tax incentives for small businesses and middle class families. South Florida has also felt the devastating effects of the housing crisis. I have fought to end predatory lending practices by mortgage companies and extend the first time homebuyers tax credit.

Given my background in education, I have worked to strengthen the Head Start program. I have also supported legislation to increase the availability to student financial aid and revise the cumbersome and complicated Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) process.

I am a strong advocate of programs that address the serious problem of domestic violence against women. I was a lead sponsor of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which increases resources towards the prosecution of domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual assault. I also support legislation to increase criminal penalties for perpetrators of Medicare fraud. Medicare fraud is a deplorable practice which robs hardworking seniors of the benefits they spent a lifetime earning, while also wasting billions in taxpayer dollars.

As the wife of a Vietnam veteran and step-mother to Marine aviators, I am passionate about improving our nation’s military, safeguarding veteran’s health care, and ensuring that returning veterans have access to a college education. I have been an outspoken critic of the Miami VA’s recent failures to notify veterans who were at risk of infection, due to contaminated colonoscopy equipment. I also authored legislation awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). These women pioneers had been denied recognition for their service during World War II.

I am Chairman emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and am now Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. In this role, I continue to voice my strong support for the state of Israel and human rights, including my opposition to Castro’s dictatorial regime in Cuba. I have also led on pressing foreign policy issues including the fight against Islamist extremism, and support of free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.

I also serve as a member of the House Committee on Rules. This Committee decides what legislation makes it to the House floor and its members are chosen by the Speaker of the House. My priorities as a member of this Committee is to get our nation’s economy back on track and ensure passage of legislation that betters the state of our nation.

I am the proud wife to Dexter Lehtinen, mother and step-mother to 4 adult children, and grandmother to two beautiful baby girls – Morgan Elizabeth and Caroline Grace.


Serving With

Jeff Miller

FLORIDA's 1st DISTRICT

Ted Yoho

FLORIDA's 3rd DISTRICT

Ander Crenshaw

FLORIDA's 4th DISTRICT

Ron DeSantis

FLORIDA's 6th DISTRICT

John Mica

FLORIDA's 7th DISTRICT

Bill Posey

FLORIDA's 8th DISTRICT

Daniel Webster

FLORIDA's 10th DISTRICT

Rich Nugent

FLORIDA's 11th DISTRICT

Gus Bilirakis

FLORIDA's 12th DISTRICT

David Jolly

FLORIDA's 13th DISTRICT

Dennis Ross

FLORIDA's 15th DISTRICT

Vern Buchanan

FLORIDA's 16th DISTRICT

Tom Rooney

FLORIDA's 17th DISTRICT

Curt Clawson

FLORIDA's 19th DISTRICT

Mario Diaz-Balart

FLORIDA's 25th DISTRICT

Carlos Curbelo

FLORIDA's 26th DISTRICT

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