WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement in support of Steve Scalise as the next Majority Leader.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Steve Scalise on a number of complex issues, as well as part of the Whip Team. Steve works inclusively, knows how to get things done, and most importantly, is a man of his word. Steve has honorably and effectively served the House of Representatives as Majority Whip. I look forward to what he will be able to accomplish as Majority Leader.”
WASHINGTON – El congresista Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) hizo la siguiente declaración para exigir la liberación inmediata del artista cubano Danilo Maldonado Machado, conocido como “El Sexto.”
"Los informes indican que El Sexto, un artista cubano que ha sido encarcelado desde diciembre de 2014 por su arte que disgusta al régimen comunista de Castro, está muy enfermo. Según estos informes, lleva una huelga de hambre desde el 8 de septiembre y está sufriendo en condiciones deplorables en la prisión de Valle Grande.
“A principios de este mes, El Sexto escribió una carta de despedida a su familia y a todos los que han apoyado su reclamo de libertad. En la carta, dijo estar dispuesto a dar su vida cien veces por la libertad de Cuba. Este artista valiente ha arriesgado todo por el futuro de Cuba. Debemos hacer todo lo posible para asegurarnos de que no perezca en la cárcel del régimen de Castro.
“El Sexto ha estado en prisión desde el mes en que el presidente Obama anunció el inicio de las capitulaciones hacia al régimen de Castro. Demando al presidente, y a otros que dicen apoyar la libertad del pueblo cubano, que se unan a mí para exigir la liberación inmediata e incondicional de El Sexto.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement calling for the immediate release of Cuban artist Danilo Maldonado Machado, known as “El Sexto.”
"Reports indicate that El Sexto, a Cuban artist who has been imprisoned since December 2014 for his artwork that the Castro regime finds objectionable, is very sick. According to these reports, he has continued a hunger strike since September 8 and is suffering in deplorable conditions in the Valle Grande prison.
“Earlier this month, El Sexto penned a farewell letter to his family and all those who have supported him in his calls for freedom. In his letter, he said that he is willing to give his life a hundred times for Cuba's freedom. This courageous artist has risked everything for Cuba's future. We must do all we can to ensure that he does not perish in Castro's prison.
“El Sexto has been in prison since the month of President Obama's announcement promising ever further capitulations to the Castro regime. I call on the president, and others who purport to support freedom for the Cuban people, to join me in demanding El Sexto's immediate and unconditional release.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after a group of Cuban pro-democracy activists wrote a letter to the U.S. Congress.
“Cuban pro-democracy activists recently wrote a letter asking the U.S. Congress to maintain sanctions against the brutal Castro regime until human rights and democratic principles are realized in Cuba. These renowned activists explain that, since President Obama’s December 2014 announcement and the Summit of the Americas in April 2015, repression in Cuba has escalated. In fact, the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation documented 768 political arrests in the month of August alone. The courageous activists who signed this letter have risked vicious reprisals simply by daring to support sanctions against the Castro regime until the most basic conditions are met. We must continue to stand with the Cuban people and the brave activists who have assumed enormous risk to send this message to Congress.
“The Castro regime’s days are numbered. I am grateful to my colleagues in Congress for their continued support of the Cuban people and for refusing to fund and sustain the ailing dictatorship that brutally oppresses them.”
WASHINGTON —Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 3504, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, and H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act.
“I proudly supported these two pieces of legislation that help protect the sanctity of life. In the case of a failed abortion, the child must immediately be transported and admitted to a hospital to receive medical care. As H.R. 3504 states, failing to do so will result in criminal charges against those involved. These babies are able to feel pain just like we do. Justice must also be taken against those who commit the horrific crimes that we have heard about in the recent videos that exposed Planned Parenthood’s vicious tactics. In order to make sure that the unborn are not treated like parts for sale, H.R. 3134 places a one-year freeze on both mandatory and discretionary funding for Planned Parenthood. This funding moratorium will allow enough time for a detailed Congressional investigation. These bills are just another way we can protect life and be a voice for those without one. ”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement regarding his vote against the Iran Deal.
“Today, I voted against a bill that would approve the dangerous and irresponsible deal that was negotiated by Secretary Kerry and the Obama Administration with the murderous regime in Iran. I strongly believe this deal will become one of the most perilous mistakes in U.S. history. This deal recognizes and legitimizes Iran's nuclear weapons program in short order. It allows Iran to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles, putting our national security at grave risk. Furthermore, I am convinced that this will lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. History will record this deal as the moment the United States, and the world, granted the largest, most dangerous state sponsor of terrorism that which it covets the most – nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. I stood firmly in opposition to this deal, and I will do everything in my power to contain, pressure, and defeat the terrorist regime in Iran.”
MIAMI – Today, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), and Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) commented on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) decision to prioritize the pending cases of Cuban medical professionals who escaped conscripted service in Venezuela and applied for relief under the Cuban Medical Professional Parole (CMPP) Program in Colombia. Combined, the offices of Representatives Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen, and Curbelo have had at least 20 cases resolved since their letters were sent to the Administration asking for an expeditious resolution to the dozens of pending cases.
"USCIS has favorably responded to our urgent requests to expeditiously and fairly review the cases of Cuban medical professionals who fled to Colombia. The CMPP Program, instituted during the Bush Administration, is essential to helping physicians in inhumane working conditions escape forced labor abroad. I will continue to work diligently with my colleagues to ensure that Cuban medical professionals forced to work abroad have the opportunity to escape their abysmal work conditions. The Castro regime contracts with foreign countries to sell the work of Cuban medical professionals, often separates the professionals from their families, and keeps as much as 70 percent of their salaries. This is not charity; it is forced labor that earns the Castro regime a hefty profit at the expense of Cuban workers,” said Diaz-Balart.
"I'm so very pleased that Cuban medical professionals in Colombia are finally getting their cases reviewed because they have been living under poor conditions and every day, their situation becomes a bigger heartache. My colleagues and I see the human toll that Castro's evil regime takes on freedom seeking folks. Our U.S. embassies must do their part to help process all legitimate petitions in a timely manner because that is what this special program is designed to do," said Ros-Lehtinen.
“Since concerns were raised over delays in resolving the cases of Cuban doctors in Colombia, the State Department has taken the issue more seriously. While I’m still disappointed by the unnecessary delays the doctors experienced in receiving a response, I am pleased that we now seem to be on a pathway to resolve their cases,” said Curbelo.
MIAMI – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after reports that the Obama administration chose to exclude Cuban pro-democracy leaders from the ceremony with Secretary Kerry at the U.S. post in Havana.
"That a U.S. Secretary of State would sideline Cuba's pro-democracy activists simply to avoid offending their oppressors is unthinkable. In Cuba, pro-democracy and human rights activists strive each day, at grave personal risk, to achieve freedom for the Cuban people. It is shameful that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have stooped so low as to publicly choose the Castro regime over the Cuban people, and exclude Cuba's brave leaders from a U.S.-hosted event at our post in Havana. Our U.S. mission in Cuba has always been a welcoming haven and symbol of liberty for those struggling for freedom in the midst of tyranny. The U.S. must remain unequivocal in its support for democracy, human rights and essential liberties, which necessarily includes standing by those struggling to achieve them."
WASHINGTON— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement on the third anniversary of the deaths of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante, who died at the hands of the Castro regime.
“Today, we remember Cuban pro-democracy activists Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante who died at the hands of Castros’ thugs three years ago today.
“Prior to their deaths, Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero, both of the Christian Liberation Movement, were repeatedly threatened for daring to oppose the repression of the Castro regime. The eye witness testimony of Spaniard Ángel Carromero, who was driving the car involved in the fatal crash, affirms the Castro regime’s culpability. The pattern of pro-democracy activist deaths in Cuba during the Obama Administration alone – Orlando Zapata Tamayo (d. Feb. 23, 2010), Juan Wilfredo Soto García (d. May 8, 2011), Laura Pollán (d. October 14, 2011), and Wilman Villar Mendoza (d. January 19, 2012) – is alarming.
“The Payá and Cepero families need answers. Oswaldo Payá‘s daughter, Rosa Maria Payá Acevedo, bravely asked the UN Human Rights Council for an investigation into the death of her father. Despite threats against her and her family, she continues the struggle for the Cuban people’s freedom and demands an objective investigation into her father’s death. However, at Monday’s press conference with representatives of the very regime that killed her father, the U.S. State Department informed Rosa Maria Payá that if she did not stay quiet, she would be escorted from the conference. Shamefully, the Obama Administration adopted a tactic from the Castro regime’s playbook and became complicit in attempting to silence a pro-democracy activist. Rosa Maria Payá suffered great personal loss due to the Castro regime’s oppression and brutality. She deserves better from the Obama Administration and the U.S. State Department.
“Despite the Obama Administration’s shunning of Cuban pro-democracy activists such as Rosa Maria Payá, my colleagues and I continue to stand with them in their struggle for human rights and democracy. The Cuban people will win their freedom thanks to their persistence and courage.
“On this solemn day, we remember the sacrifice of activists such as Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero. My thoughts and prayers are with their families.”
WASHINGTON— Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement regarding President Obama’s decision to extend diplomatic recognition to the Castro regime.
“Today, we see the completion of another step in President Obama’s failed policy of appeasing brutal dictators that threaten U.S. interests. In Cuba and elsewhere, the administration has removed human rights and America's security from the President's foreign policy agenda. Since the President's December 17, 2014 announcement, there have been well over 2,500 political arrests in Cuba. For the past fourteen consecutive Sundays, at least seventy activists have been arrested, including the courageous Ladies in White who protest on their way to mass. Instead of tightening sanctions against the Castro regime in response to continued human rights abuses and arrests, President Obama has ceded important leverage.
“A Cuban embassy in Washington will not represent the Cuban people. The Cuban people have not chosen the Castros as their leaders. A Cuban embassy will represent the Cuban military and intelligence services that perpetuate human rights abuses against them. Purportedly to help the Cuban people achieve ‘independence from Cuban authorities,’ President Obama continues to appease and channel resources to their oppressors. The Castro regime is not the Cuban people. If only we had a president that knew the difference.”
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.
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My staff will be holding office hours 3-5p @ Everglades City Hall, 102 Copeland Ave. if you need help with any federal issues.
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My staff will be holding office hours near you this afternoon from 3-5p at Everglades City Hall, located at 102 Copeland Avenue if you need help
Siempre un placer estar en el estudio con Ninoska Pérez-Castellón en Radio Mambi || Always a pleasure to join Ninoska Perez-Castellon in the
At 1 PM - tune into Radio Mambi 710 AM. I'll be on live with Ninoska Perez Castellon. Listen here: http://v6.player.abacast.net/2325 A las 1
The Washington Post telling it like it is: "The one-sided relationship with Cuba" https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-one-sided-relationship-with-cuba/2015/10/01/5ab43e1c-686f-11e5-9ef3-fde182507eac_story.html?postshare=9631443804281700
At a breakfast this morning with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), we discussed the importance of foreign aid, and robust resources