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Sen. Cruz Introduces Bill Renaming Block In Front of Cuban Embassy after Oswaldo Payá

Cruz, Diaz-Balart, Ros-Lehtinen send letter to Secretary Kerry calling for investigation into treatment of Cuban dissidents

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following this week's opening of the Cuban Embassy, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today introduced legislation to rename the street where the embassy is located as "Oswaldo Payá Way" in honor of Cuba's late leader in democratic movements. The bill serves as a tribute to those who have contested the cruelty and oppression of the Castro regime.

"The opening of the Cuban Embassy is yet another example of the Administration's long, slow capitulation to oppressive dictatorships around the globe. The Castros may have come to power before the President was born, but they remain at heart the same brutal thugs they were when they imprisoned and tortured my Tía Sonia 50 years ago," Sen. Cruz said. "There is absolutely no reason to legitimize and enrich them now, and it is my hope that this gesture will reassure those fighting for freedom in Cuba that there are still some in the United States who stand with them."

The bill also comes after reports of the State Department's mistreatment of Cuban dissidents who attended a joint briefing on U.S.-Cuba relations on Monday.

Sen. Cruz, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) sent a letter to Sec. John Kerry today requesting an investigation into potentially aggressive behavior toward Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo and Rosa María Paya, daughter of Orlando Payá, by a member of the State Department.

"According to Ms. Payá and Mr. Lazo, when they arrived at the State Department before your press conference with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, they were identified by members of the Cuban delegation. When they entered the briefing room they were confronted by your chief spokesman, Admiral John Kirby, who requested they refrain from asking any questions or they would be forcibly removed...How very sad it would be if Ms. Payá were to find that the repressive, totalitarian tactics that have silenced so many generations of Cubans do not end at the water's edge, but have also infiltrated our own capital," Cruz, Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart wrote.

Full text of the resolution can be found here, and the letter to Sec. Kerry can be found in its entirety here


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