Administración Debe Ayudar al Pueblo De Venezuela, No Abstenerse de Imponer Sanciones Contra Violadores de Derechos Humanos, Dice Ros-Lehtinen
“Es preocupante ver que Congresistas soliciten a la Administración Obama abstenerse de imponer más sanciones contra los funcionarios del régimen que asesinan y encarcelan a disidentes”
(Washington, DC) - La Congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Presidente del Subcomité del Medio Oriente y África del Norte, hizo la siguiente declaración tras conocerse de una carta que 16 Congresistas dirigieron al Presidente Obama, solicitando abstenerse de imponer más sanciones contra los violadores de derechos humanos en Venezuela. Destacó Ros-Lehtinen:
“Al conocerse reportes, que exponen que los violadores de derechos humanos dentro del régimen de Maduro en Venezuela utilizan recursos del estado para operar un cartel de drogas, es preocupante ver que Congresistas soliciten a la Administración Obama abstenerse de imponer más sanciones contra los funcionarios del régimen que asesinan y encarcelan a disidentes. El pueblo de Venezuela lucha en una batalla heroica contra dificultades abrumadoras para restaurar las libertades básicas, el estado de derecho y la justicia en Venezuela; derechos que fueron negados al pueblo por sus opresores. Debe ser el objetivo de los Estados Unidos ayudar a quienes luchan, no obstaculizarlos y es decepcionante que sólo siete individuos hayan sido sancionados por la Administración. Hago un llamado al Presidente Obama a agregar más nombres a la lista de sancionados bajo los términos del Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society de 2014 y no dar la espalda a los que ahora, más que nunca necesitan nuestra ayuda.”Read More
Administration Must Aid People of Venezuela, Not Refrain From Imposing Further Sanctions Against Human Rights Violators, Says Ros-Lehtinen
“It is disconcerting to see Members of Congress ask the Obama administration to refrain from imposing further sanctions against regime officials who are killing and imprisoning those who dissent”
(Washington, DC) - Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement regarding a letter 16 Members of Congress addressed to President Obama asking him to refrain from imposing further sanctions against human rights violators in Venezuela. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“As reports show that human rights violators within the Maduro regime in Venezuela use state resources to operate a drug cartel, it is disconcerting to see Members of Congress ask the Obama administration to refrain from imposing further sanctions against regime officials who are killing and imprisoning those who dissent. The people of Venezuela fight a heroic struggle against overwhelming odds in order to restore basic freedoms, the rule of law and justice to Venezuela - rights that are denied to them by their oppressors. It should be the aim of the United States to help the people of Venezuela, not hinder them, and it is disappointing that only seven individuals have been sanctioned by the Administration so far. I call on President Obama to add more names to the list of those sanctioned under the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 and not turn our back on the Venezuelan people who need our help now more than ever.”Read More
Bin Laden Documents Important for Understanding Size and Scope of Continued Threat Posed by Al-Qaeda, Says Ros-Lehtinen
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement regarding the latest release of documents recovered in the raid against Osama bin Laden. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“The documents recovered in the bin Laden raid are important for our nation’s further understanding of al-Qaeda, its extremist ideology, and the threat to American security. As seen by recent terror attacks across the Middle East and elsewhere, al-Qaeda and its derivatives remain, despite claims to the contrary, a threat to our nation, our values, and our way of life. I am pleased that DNI released this latest tranche of documents in the interest of transparency and our knowledge of the enemy in order to be better prepared for the future. I urge DNI to continue its review of the remaining documents recovered in Abbottabad in an expedient manner and release them to the public as soon as possible.”Read More
Honoring Our Heroes, Dexter and Ileana to Attend the Miami Chamber of Commerce Memorial Day Observance Ceremony on Monday, May 25
“My husband has always shown great respect to those who gave their all in defense of our country's values and I'm humbled to participate in this meaningful ceremony with Dexter.”
Miami, Florida – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and her husband Dexter Lehtinen will be attending the Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Memorial Day Observance Ceremony on Monday, May 25, 2015 to pay tribute to our fallen heroes. Ros-Lehtinen’s husband, Dexter Lehtinen, who volunteered for service and was wounded in combat as an Army Ranger in Vietnam, will be participating in the event.
WHO: Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Dexter Lehtinen, Barry Johnson, the president of the Miami Chamber of Commerce, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Brigadier General Kurt Sonntag, and others.
WHAT: Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Dexter Lehtinen attending the Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Memorial Day Observance Ceremony
WHERE: Woodlawn Park Cemetery, 3260 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135
WHEN: 11:00am on Monday, May 25, 2015
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“My husband has always shown great respect to those who gave their all in defense of our country's values and I'm humbled to participate in this meaningful ceremony with Dexter. Our liberty is due in large part to the sacrifices made by those who served our nation. No matter when or where our servicemen and women defended our country, their actions have ensured that we continue to enjoy our American ideals of freedom and democracy. We are forever grateful to those who have selflessly served our nation.”
Ros-Lehtinen Proud To Invite South Florida Community To Post Office Dedication In Honor Of Fallen Hero
“I am proud to participate in the deserved dedication of a post office for our local hero, Christian A. Guzman Rivera, who made the ultimate sacrifice for us all. Christian’s selfless devotion to our country shows the commitment that he had to ensuring we live in freedom and we will forever be indebted to him for his heroism.”
(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) is proud to honor our local hero, Marine Corporal Christian A. Guzman Rivera, who valiantly sacrificed his life for our country. Ros-Lehtinen will participate in the designation of the post office at 13500 SW 250 Street in Princeton, Florida as the Corporal Christian A. Guzman Rivera Post Office Building. Ros-Lehtinen will be present and will speak at the designation, which will occur on Friday, May 22, 2015 at 12:30pm at the newly inaugurated Corporal Christian A. Guzman Rivera Post Office Building. During the 113th Congress, Ros-Lehtinen introduced and worked to ensure Congress passed the resolution honoring Christian and designating a post office in his honor.
Guzman Rivera, a Marine Corporal, was a Miami-Dade County resident who volunteered for active duty service and was killed in action while serving our nation in Afghanistan as a combat engineer for the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. During his time in Afghanistan, Guzman Rivera selflessly assumed his squad leader’s leadership position when his squad leader was wounded and hospitalized. Prior to his service to our nation, Christian attended local schools, graduating from Homestead Senior High School, and participating in Miami Dade College’s firefighter program, as his dream had been to become a firefighter, before volunteering for duty in the Marine Corps due to his dedication to our country.
Guzman Rivera was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Purple Heart Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon. His loving mother Velma, a dedicated postal worker, and his brother Jonathan have lived in South Florida since 1989. His step-father, Felix Torres, has been a strong support for the family since 1997. All were devastated by Christian’s passing but are proud of his honorable sacrifice for our freedoms.
Ros-Lehtinen has a long record working to ensure soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice are honored, in addition to fighting for our veterans. She understands the needs of veterans because her husband, Dexter, is a combat veteran who volunteered for service and sustained serious injuries while serving our country in Vietnam. Currently Marine Reservists, her step-son, Doug, and daughter-in-law, Lindsay, served our nation as Marine officers in Iraq and Lindsay also served in Afghanistan.
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“I am proud to participate in the deserved dedication of a post office for our local hero, Christian A. Guzman Rivera, who made the ultimate sacrifice for us all. Christian’s selfless devotion to our country shows the commitment that he had to ensuring we live in freedom and we will forever be indebted to him for his heroism. His example of service to his country during one of our most trying times is one that every young person should seek to emulate.
While it would have been easier to choose a life closer to home, Christian sought to make a difference in our world and served his country honorably. For his intentions and sacrifices, we are forever grateful. Dedicating a post office for him will not bring this hero back; it is but a small measure of gratitude from a thankful community for the ultimate sacrifice Christian made for all of us.”
U.S. Egypt Policy Must Simultaneously Support Sisi’s Efforts to Combat Terror, Push Democratic Reforms, Says Ros-Lehtinen
“Egypt has taken a very active role in the Sinai…is confronting the radical terror groups…and has been working closely with Israel to combat their shared threats together”
(Washington, DC) - Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement today at a subcommittee hearing entitled, “Egypt Two Years After Morsi: Part I.” Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
Egypt has always been of central importance to the Middle East and the region’s stability. It has also been a strategic interest for the United States, our policy objectives in the region and our national security. The Suez Canal remains an all-important waterway that serves as a strategic asset for the global trade, but just as importantly, the avenue which U.S. warships can easily traverse to go between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf.
Over these past 4 years, we have certainly seen Egypt undergo drastic changes. As policy makers, we face one of the more difficult challenges in Egypt and today’s hearing is titled: Egypt Two Years After Morsi to examine the ever changing dynamics on the ground in Egypt of that. Since the 2011 revolution, the change we had hoped to see for Egypt has been slow to come, to say the least.
For many of us - myself included - we believe that human rights is a top priority that must be taken into account as we formulate our foreign policy objectives. We want to see people living in free, democratic and open societies where everyone can practice their religion without fear and where everyone is treated equally and fairly.
In March of this year, an Egyptian court ruled that parliamentary elections had to be postponed, marking a major setback in Egypt’s path to democracy. The authorities in Egypt and different branches of government must work together to ensure that the elections are scheduled as quickly as possible and in accordance with Egyptian law. It’s important to note that elections for the sake of elections are not the only requirement for a democracy; A government must also govern democratically and respect the rights of its citizens.
But we also understand that there can be no economic prosperity, no political stability, without safety and security. And right now, Egypt faces threats from the Sinai and along its border with Libya, and Cairo plays an important role as a counterbalance to the Iranian regime’s hegemonic ambitions in the region. Egypt has taken a very active role in the Sinai – which for years had been ignored by Cairo – and is confronting the radical terror groups, some affiliated to ISIL. Egypt has also been vital in cutting off and destroying the tunnels in Gaza used by Hamas and has been working closely with Israel to combat their shared threats together.
Earlier this year, the administration decided to resume weapons transfers to Egypt to help Cairo counter some of these threats. In 2013, Mr. Connolly and I had commissioned a three phase report from the Government Accountability Office to assess our foreign assistance to Egypt. The GAO is currently conducting this third phase, which will assess the security-related assistance, and the timing could not be more important as we resume these weapons sales. It is in our national security interests to see that these terror threats are eliminated, and that Egypt remains a strategic ally and continues to have a good working relationship with Israel.
Recently, Egypt has taken moves that signal that it is willing to move away from the U.S. toward a closer relationship with Russia. Russia has agreed to build a nuclear power plant in Egypt, the two have increased trade dramatically over the past year, and Putin has vowed to increase Russian weapons sales to Egypt. We cannot afford to allow Putin to undermine our ties with Egypt – it would be a serious blow to our national security interests.
But as friends, it’s also important we also take issue with Cairo’s lack of progress on the domestic front. I still remain deeply concerned over the fate of 43 NGO workers, many of whom are American citizens, who were convicted in absentia in a sham, politically motivated trial. It would be a simple, but important, gesture for Sisi to pardon these individuals and signal that he is willing to move Egypt forward in a positive direction and could improve the U.S. – Egypt bilateral relationship. He should also look to re-examine the controversial laws against civil society – like the NGO law and the protest law.
As much as the Egyptian people appreciate safety, security, and economic growth after the recent instability, they are also seeking far-reaching changes to the political process and the people’s relationship with the state. President Sisi should seize this opportunity to move forward on long-needed democratic reforms, and the U.S. can play an important role in that effort. What it boils down to is finding the right balance between security and democracy, and the United States must ensure that we leverage our assistance to promote both simultaneously.Read More
Ros-Lehtinen Amendment to Help SOUTHCOM Counter Western Hemisphere Threats Included in House Passage of FY16 National Defense Authorization Act
(Washington, DC) - Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement regarding her amendment to the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes the Secretary of Defense to deploy necessary resources to US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in order to counter threats in the Western Hemisphere. The House of Representatives passed the NDAA today with Ros-Lehtinen’s amendment included. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“Thank you so much sir, and I thank the gentleman, the Chairman, for including my amendment en bloc. And the amendment is very simple. It authorizes the Secretary of Defense to deploy assets, personnel and resources to SOUTHCOM and the Joint Interagency Task Force South in order to take on threats with sufficient intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Terror groups receive a large amount of financial resources through the illicit drug trade and their cooperation with drug cartels in our region, and we are dangerously ill-equipped to tackle these threats. It is in our vital national security interest to bolster our efforts to counter the nexus between drug traffickers and terror groups, and to do so we need to give SOUTHCOM the resources it needs to get the job done.
Not nearly enough attention is being paid to the Western Hemisphere and with our limited resources and intelligence capabilities, our visibility and assessment of the threats in our hemisphere are dangerously inadequate. This lack of resources jeopardizes our national security, as terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are increasingly operating in our Hemisphere. And we all know that Iran, Russia, and China are all expanding their influence here in order to undermine our regional interests. So I thank the Chairman once again.”
Text of Ros-Lehtinen’s Amendment:
SEC. 12xx. COMBATING CRIME THROUGH INTELLIGENCE
The Secretary of Defense is authorized to deploy assets, personnel, and resources to United States Southern Command, in coordination with the Joint Interagency Task Force South, to combat the following by supplying sufficient intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities:
(1) Transnational criminal organizations.
(2) Drug trafficking.
(3) Bulk shipments of narcotics or currency.
(4) Narco-terrorism and terrorist financing.
(5) Human trafficking.
(6) The presence and influence of Iran, Russia, and China in the Western Hemisphere.
(7) The national security threat posed by the presence and influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Hezbollah, or any other foreign terrorist organization in the Western Hemisphere.
Ros-Lehtinen Hosts Congressional Recognition Ceremony To Honor South Florida Students This Saturday, May 16
“South Florida is blessed to have so many talented and dedicated students who work hard to achieve and improve in their academic careers.”
Miami, FL – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL – 27) will host her annual Congressional Recognition Ceremony to honor more than 140 South Florida students who have demonstrated academic excellence in the 2014 – 2015 school year. Two groups of students, who will either be awarded the Congressional Medal of Merit for outstanding scholarship or the Most Improved Student Award, will be honored from over 30 South Florida schools. As a former Florida certified teacher, Ros-Lehtinen’s commitment to education is a lifelong endeavor and she works diligently to enhance opportunities for all students.
WHO: Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL – 27), South Florida students, their family members, and faculty.
WHAT: Congressional Recognition Ceremony honoring South Florida’s students with either the Congressional Medal of Merit for outstanding scholarship or the Most Improved Student Award
WHEN: Saturday, May 16 at 10:00am
WHERE: Miami Senior High School, 2450 SW 1st Street, Miami, FL 33135, in the Theater on the first floor
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
“It’s always an honor for me to recognize educational achievement in our community. South Florida is blessed to have so many talented and dedicated students who work hard to achieve and improve in their academic careers. We should all continue to encourage our future leaders to strive for success”
2206 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
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.
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