WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act, of which he was a co-sponsor.
“Today's passage of H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act, amends the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. As law currently reads, the federal government has access to all of your email and text messages - without a warrant. Our electronic privacy laws had been drafted long before we knew the impact that email communication and smart phones would have in our daily lives, and it desperately needed to be updated. The federal government should not have access to the private messages of millions of Americans across the country without a court order. I am proud to support a bill that stops unwarranted intrusion and protects privacy.”
WASHINGTON – Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding the denial of Mr. Ramon Saul Sanchez’s petition for United States residency after fourteen years.
"Mr. Saul Sanchez has been an outspoken critic of some aspects of the Obama administration's policy toward the Castro regime. We have questions about the peculiar timing of the Obama administration's decision to deny Mr. Sanchez's petition for residency, who has been in the United States for 49 years and whose petition for residency has been pending for fourteen of those years."
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after reports that Panamanian authorities discovered 401 kilos of cocaine en route from Cuba to Belgium.
"The Castro regime has once again been caught red-handed violating international law and norms. This time, it reportedly was caught red-handed sending hundreds of kilos of cocaine to Belgium. This is only the latest in the Castro regime's long history of links to narco-trafficking.
“Shamefully, President Obama's overtures to the Castro regime have emboldened it to escalate its illicit activities. As this latest incident reveals, the Castro brothers remain a grave threat to U.S. national security interests and global stability. President Obama's policy of providing this rogue dictatorship with billions of dollars in sanctions relief is unconscionable.
“I commend the Panamanian authorities for their effectiveness in rooting out narco-trafficking and illicit weapons smuggling. In light of the Castro regime's continued malevolence against the United States and complete disdain for international comity, President Obama should abandon his failed policy of appeasement and prohibit U.S. dollars from bolstering the Castro regime's illicit and dangerous activities.”
In 2013, Panamanian authorities also caught the Castro regime smuggling 240 tons of military weapons to North Korea, which a U.N. panel of experts determined was the largest violation of sanctions against that country to date. Colombian authorities discovered a hidden shipment of weapons from Cuba on a Chinese-flagged vessel in 2015.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) issued the following statement after Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) announced this morning he would not seek re-election this fall.
"This morning, a longtime colleague and close friend Ander Crenshaw announced his retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives. I am proud to serve alongside a man who has given his life to public service, first in the Florida Senate, and now here in Congress. Ander has been a great mentor, colleague, and friend on the Appropriations Committee, and I, alongside our fellow appropriators, have truly benefitted from his insight and knowledge. He is a tireless advocate for our men and women in uniform, supporting them and advocating for naval assets in Northeast Florida. I wish the best for him, his wife Kitty, and their daughters, Sarah and Alex.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement in response to an announcement by the National Association of Manufacturers.
"Shamefully, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has called for an end to sanctions and the opening of unrestricted financial transactions with the Castro regime.
“Under U.S. law, sanctions end once basic conditions are met in Cuba, including the scheduling of free, fair elections, release of all political prisoners, and legalization of political parties, independent labor unions and independent press. Until those simple conditions are met, the commonsense sanctions in the law must continue.
“In totalitarian Cuba, the vast majority of the economy is run by the state, and key industries are controlled by the Cuban military. American businesses are not permitted to deal directly with Cuban individuals, but must do business with the Castro regime’s state-run monopolies that further anti-American objectives and oppress the Cuban people. For example, the Castro regime provides safe harbor to more than 70 fugitives from U.S. justice, including FBI’s “Top Ten Most Wanted Terrorist” Joanne Chesimard, admitted hijacker and alleged murderer Charles Hill, and terrorist bomb maker William Morales. In 2013, the regime was caught smuggling 240 tons of weapons to North Korea in the largest violation of international sanctions against that country to date. In February 2016, General James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, testified that the Castro regime remains one of the most serious intelligence threats against the United States. And last year, the Castro regime perpetrated at least 8,616 political arrests against pro-democracy and human rights activists. These are not activities that U.S. businesses should subsidize.
“Today, NAM wrongfully encourages U.S. businesses to deal directly with the Castro dictatorship and encourages their entanglement with a malevolent, anti-American dictatorship that brutally oppresses the Cuban people and threatens U.S. interests at every opportunity. I am disappointed that NAM has made such a misguided recommendation to its members.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement in response to President Obama’s trip to Cuba.
“President Obama's attendance at a baseball game, gleeful handshakes with the Cuban people's oppressors, and seeming apologetic tone with continued requests for ‘indulgence’ were sickening to those who know the true malevolence of the Castro regime that is responsible for the deaths of activists Oswaldo Paya, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Laura Pollan, and Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia, Harold Cepero, and Wilman Villar Mendoza during the Obama presidency alone. It is shameful that President Obama seeks to sustain the same dictatorship that murdered Brothers to the Rescue humanitarians Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Jr., Mario De la Pena, and Pablo Morales, harbors more than 70 fugitives from U.S. justice including terrorists and indicted murderers, struck down dozens of men, women and children in the Tugboat Massacre of 1994, and routinely imprisons pro-democracy and human rights activists.
“As of Monday evening, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation estimated approximately 304 political arrests during the President's trip, on top of the 1,447 political arrests in January and 1,141 in February this year. Among those arrested during the President's trip were more than 50 Members of the Ladies in White and more than 20 other activists on Palm Sunday. Renowned activists Berta Soler, Antonio Rodiles, and Pastor Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso were among those arrested, and many more were placed on house arrest. The Directorio Democratico Cubano responded to the dictator's laughable comment that Cuba has no political prisoners with a partial list. For Directorio's list of current political prisoners in Cuba, click here.
“Fortunately, the policies promulgated by one man without the consent of Congress are reversible, and the Cuban people will gain their freedom despite the President's concessions to the Castro dictatorship. Now that President Obama's trip is over, the Cuban people will continue their struggle for human rights and essential liberties. They will do so despite President Obama's continued and shameful overtures to their oppressors.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement on the eve of President Obama's trip to Cuba.
“Regrettably, President Obama will soon embark on a trip to once again embrace a brutal, murderous dictator in yet another shameful capitulation that does nothing to further U.S. national interests and help the Cuban people. Of the many countries that he could grace with a presidential visit, he has chosen the only totalitarian dictatorship in our hemisphere.
“President Obama must demand the return of the more than seventy fugitives from U.S. justice including “Ten Most Wanted Terrorist” Joanne Chesimard, terrorist bomb maker William Morales, and Charles Hill. He should remember the Brothers to the Rescue victims and demand that the indicted pilots Lorenzo Alberto Perez-Perez and Francisco Perez-Perez, and then-head of Cuba’s Air Force General Ruben Martinez Puente, be turned over to U.S. authorities to face justice for the murders of three innocent Americans and one U.S. resident. He should demand that the Americans whose properties were stolen by the Castro regime receive just compensation. He should demand that the Castro regime stop smuggling weapons to North Korea in violation of international sanctions. He should demand that basic human rights and liberties are finally realized in Cuba.
“The President should refuse to shake the blood-stained hands of the Cuban people’s oppressors, and instead, meet with courageous activists who are Cuba's true leaders, such as Berta Soler, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez, Antonio Rodiles, and so many others who have suffered arrests, beatings and other despicable acts of repudiation at the hands of Castro’s thugs. They are worthy of presidential recognition.
“Fortunately, everything that President Obama has done is entirely reversible; he cannot unilaterally undo the laws that Congress and presidents before him have enacted. His trip has only symbolic and fleeting significance. I, along with my colleagues in Congress, will continue to stand firmly with the Cuban people as they struggle to achieve free, fair, multi-party elections, independent press and labor unions, and the liberation of all political prisoners. We will not join President Obama in his capitulations to an anti-American, brutal dictatorship that opposes U.S. interests at every opportunity."
WASHINGTON – Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement in response to remarks offered by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) during his weekly press briefing.
“I commend the Speaker for his words today in support of both U.S. national security interests and the Cuban people in their struggle for basic rights and liberties. In stark contrast to President Obama’s shameful concessions to a brutal and oppressive dictatorship, the Speaker once again has demonstrated principled and decisive leadership in promoting core American values and interests. I am grateful for his invaluable dedication to freedom in our hemisphere and across the globe.”
MIAMI – Los congresistas Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) y Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) se reunieron con el Embajador de Colombia, Juan Carlos Pinzón, y miembros de la comunidad colombiana en el sur de la Florida para discutir el proceso de paz en Colombia. La congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) estuvo representada por su Jefe de Despacho y Director del Subcomité.
Congresista Diaz-Balart: "Estoy muy agradecido que el Embajador Pinzón pudo viajar desde Washington, D.C. para esta reunión. Colombia es uno de nuestros mayores socios comerciales y es vital para la economía del sur de la Florida. La relación entre Estados Unidos y Colombia es una de las más importantes de nuestro hemisferio, y hay que seguir fortaleciendo y ampliando esos lazos. Sin embargo, he expresado mi profunda preocupación con respecto a este acuerdo entre el presidente Santos y las FARC, las mismas preocupaciones que comparten muchos en la comunidad colombiana-estadounidense. Nuestro encuentro con el embajador Pinzón fue muy informativo; obtuvimos detalles adicionales y su visión personal acerca de las negociaciones en curso con las FARC. También aprecio que habló largo y tendido y respondió a las preguntas de los líderes de la comunidad colombiana-estadounidense. Agradezco al Embajador Pinzón el haberse tomado el tiempo para reunirse con nosotros, y por permitirnos ser francos y sinceros en estas conversaciones".
Congresista Curbelo: “Nuestra reunión con el Embajador Juan Carlos Pinzón fue fructífera y le agradecemos su tiempo y su franqueza en cuanto al proceso de paz en Colombia. Todos queremos la paz y la prosperidad para Colombia pero nos preocupan elementos de lo que se ha propuesto y las posibles consecuencias para los intereses de seguridad nacional de EEUU. Seguiremos dialogando con los residentes del Sur de la Florida y con el gobierno colombiano en cuanto a este importante tema”.
Este encuentro fue concebido durante una reunión en febrero entre los congresistas Díaz-Balart, Curbelo y Ros-Lehtinen con el presidente de Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, en Washington, DC.
MIAMI – Congressmen Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) met with Colombian Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzón and members of the Colombian-American community in South Florida to discuss the Colombian peace process. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) was represented by her Chief of Staff and Subcommittee Staff Director.
Rep. Diaz-Balart: “I am grateful that Ambassador Pinzón was able to travel from Washington, D.C. for this meeting. Colombia is one of our largest trading partners, and that is vital to South Florida’s economy. The relationship between the United States and Colombia is one of the most important ones in our hemisphere, and we must continue to strengthen and expand those ties. However, I have expressed my deep concerns regarding this agreement between President Santos and the FARC, the same concerns that are shared by many in the Colombian-American community. Our meeting with Ambassador Pinzon was very informative; we were able to gain additional details and his personal insight about the ongoing negotiations with the FARC. I also appreciate that he spoke at length and answered questions from leaders of the Colombian-American community. I thank Ambassador Pinzón for taking the time to meet with us, and for allowing me to be frank and candid in these conversations.”
Rep. Curbelo: “Our meeting with Ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzón and leaders of South Florida's Colombian-American community this afternoon was very productive, and we are grateful to him for his time and his candor regarding the peace process in Colombia. All of us want peace and prosperity for Colombia, but we have concerns with the ongoing negotiations and their ramifications for US national security interests. We look forward to continuing this dialogue with our constituents and with the Colombian government.”
This meeting was a follow-up to a February Meeting where, along with other Congressional colleagues, Representatives Diaz-Balart, Curbelo, and Ros-Lehtinen met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in Washington, D.C.
436 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Mario Diaz-Balart is currently fulfilling his 6th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the beginning of the 112th Congress, Diaz-Balart was asked to serve on one of the most prestigious committees: House Committee on Appropriations. As part of the House Committee on Appropriations, he sits on three of its subcommittees: State and Foreign Operations, Commerce, Justice, and Science, and as Vice-Chair of Financial Services.
Diaz-Balart was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 to represent Florida’s 25th Congressional district, which at the time, covered portions of Miami-Dade County, Collier County, and Monroe County. Diaz-Balart continued to represent the three counties until 2010, when he ran unopposed for Florida’s 21st Congressional district. After the 2012 redistricting cycle, he ran for the newly redrawn 25th Congressional district, to which he was elected. The 25th district now includes parts of Miami-Dade, Broward, Collier, and Hendry Counties.
Prior to his time in Congress, Diaz-Balart served 14 years in the Florida State Legislature in both chambers, House and Senate. At age 31, Diaz-Balart became the youngest person ever elected to the Florida Senate, as well as the first Hispanic to serve as Chair of the Combined Appropriations / Ways and Means / Finance and Tax Committee. During his tenure in the state legislature, he consistently ranked among the most effective legislators in Florida, developing a reputation as a budget hawk, and supporting minority voting rights.
In Washington, Diaz-Balart has worked tireless to make American homes and communities safer and stronger in the face of hurricanes and other natural disasters. In 2013, he introduced the Safe Building Code Incentive Act (H.R. 1878), legislation that would provide financial incentives to states that adopt and enforce nationally recognized model building codes. These states would also qualify for an additional 4 percent of funding for hazard mitigation grants. That same year, he introduced the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act (H.R. 2241), which would incentivize home and building owners to utilize resilient construction methods when building and renovating home and commercial structures in federally declared disaster areas. Over the long run, both of these bills would save hard-earned taxpayer dollars and minimize the risk of property damage, but more importantly, would reduce the loss of life.
Diaz-Balart has also been a strong proponent of improving public safety and transportation. Throughout his tenure in Congress, Diaz-Balart has helped deliver millions of federal dollars for the I-75 widening project and Miami-Dade Transit. As a true South Floridian, the Everglades restoration has been an ongoing project for Diaz-Balart. As founder and co-chairman of the Everglades Caucus, he has consistently fought to secure billions for the overall restoration and prevented massive funding cuts in recent years. Diaz-Balart has promoted hurricane preparedness and ensured federal relief for Florida in the aftermaths of Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Rita.
Diaz-Balart was born on September 25, 1961 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Rafael and Hilda Diaz-Balart, and the youngest of four brothers (Rafael, Lincoln, and Jose). He studied Political Science at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Diaz-Balart currently resides in Miami, Florida with his wife and son.
Retweeted by mariodb
Castro's secret police has cameras set up at headquarters of Cuba's Ladies in White in Havana's Lawton neighborhood. https://t.co/9Mc0SpwTY1
Retweeted by mariodb
Retweeted by mariodb
Retweeted by mariodb
Retweeted by mariodb
Enrique from my Naples office captured this stunning photo of the sunset tonight. We are truly blessed to call #FL25 home!
Thank you Governor Scott for your commitment to preventing and treating HIV in #FL with launch of new Florida Department of Health (DOH) HIV
Another year, another visit from Ronald W. Reagan/Doral High School during their Close-Up trip to Washington, D.C.
The National Mall sits at the heart of Washington, D.C. This world-class park welcomes millions of people every year, and I'm happy to join Trust
This morning, I met with Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commander Jason Kirk, where we discussed the importance of Everglades