Kevin McCarthy Launches House GOP Advisory Team on Cuba

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 05: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) holds his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday announced he is launching an advisory team on Cuba to advise House Republicans on the “ongoing freedom protests and government atrocities in Cuba.”

According to a press release, the team will help develop policies to guarantee the United States “stands in solidarity with the Cuban freedom movement, and educate the American people on the tyranny of the communist regime in Havana.”

The team will also “identify policies that will support the protestors and hold the Communist regime accountable for its human rights abuses.”

“The world has witnessed powerful images coming out of Cuba over the last five days,” McCarthy said in a statement. “With thousands of Cubans in more than 40 cities and small towns taking to the streets, the protests mark a historic moment in a society whose Communist system has oppressed its citizens for more than 60 years.

“Their sudden eruption across Cuba is a dramatic and necessary repudiation of the Cuban communist regime,” McCarthy added.

“The Cuban people are risking everything to free themselves, their families, their country, and their futures from their socialist prison. For 62 years, we have stood with them in support of their desire for liberty and self-determination,” McCarthy continued.

McCarthy explained that the “situation in Cuba” has reached its “turning point,” which is why he stated that the “[United States] must stand unequivocally with Cuba’s brave freedom fighters. They need our robust support, not weak rhetoric.”

The members asked to join the advisory board are: Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Rep. Maria Salazar (R-FL), Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV), Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), Rep. Cathy Rodgers (R-WA), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Mark Green (R-TN), Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN), Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)

“I know this team, many of whom are Cuban American and in one way or another have borne witness to the brutality of communism, will work diligently for the cause of freedom,” McCarthy said about the new advisory team.

After being picked for the team, Gimenez tweeted, he is “honored to have been picked.” He added, “I was born in Cuba. I still remember leaving everything behind because of the communist revolution. I’ll never forget it. It’s time to end the cheap talk and get real on Cuba policy.”

In support of her being picked for the team, Spartz also tweeted, “Our country has always been a beacon of freedom for the world! I look forward to working with [McCarthy] to help the people of Cuba in their pursuit of freedoms and rights.”

Diaz-Balart also tweeted that he is proud to be a member of the team. He also said, “We’ll use this platform to advise House Republicans & the American people on the atrocities committed by the Cuban dictatorship & maintain solidarity with the Cuban people.” 

Diaz-Balart noted that “together,” they will “work for the cause of freedom.”

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