MENENDEZ STATEMENT ON HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION OF CUBA TRAVEL BILL

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) released the following statement today on the House Agriculture Committee’s markup of legislation to lift the Cuba travel ban (H.R. 4645):

“The legislation being considered today in the House Agriculture Committee would enrich a regime that denies its own people basic human rights. So let me make this clear: I oppose and will filibuster any attempt to pass the bill in the Senate. The big corporate interests behind this bill couldn’t care less about whether the Cuban people are free or not — they only care about padding their profits by opening up a new market. The very fact that a travel bill is going through an agriculture committee makes one wonder why agriculture interests even care about travel to Cuba, unless it is to generate money for the Castro regime to buy agricultural goods. The rest of the world travels to and invest in Cuba, none of which has brought democratic change. In fact, the Castro regime continues its abuse of pro-democratic forces and allows dissidents to die from futile hunger strikes in the face of one of the world’s harshest dictatorships. Those who lament our dependence on foreign oil because it enriches regimes in places like Iran should not have a double standard when it comes to enriching the Castro regime, simply because Cuba offers white sand beaches 90 miles from our coast.  Repression is repression and dictatorships are dictatorships, no matter where they are located or whether you want to use their resorts.”

"I don't think what he's doing tonight, the method by which he's doing it helps to build a trustful relationship."
—Gov. Chris Christie reacting to President Barack Obama's speech on immigration reform.