Byrne denounces Obama’s executive action on Cuba

Published 10:27 am Thursday, January 8, 2015

During a speech from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne denounced President Barack Obama’s executive action regarding Cuba, according to a press release from Byrne’s office.

Byrne noted that his district, and the city of Mobile in particular, could benefit from improved relations with Cuba. However, he decried the executive action as the “wrong way” to achieve that goal.

“Economic benefits should not come at the cost of enabling a ruthless regime,” Byrne said.

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Byrne outlined a path forward for improved diplomatic relations and an end to the trade embargo with Cuba.

“This is the same Cuba that has been accused again and again of egregious human rights violations,” he said. “Nothing has changed in those areas at all, and the Castro brothers are still in power.

“Now, there is a path forward for improved diplomatic relations and ending the trade embargo. The Castro regime must go; political activity must be legalized; public commitments to free and fair elections must be made; an independent judiciary must be established; rights to free speech and freedom of the press must be guaranteed; Cuba must renounce the policy of being a staging area against the United States; political prisoners must be freed.

“Under those conditions, and with a president willing to work with Congress the embargo could be lifted and progress could truly begin.”

Byrne argued that Obama should abandon the executive action and join with Congress to create a solid and fair Cuba policy.

“Mr. Speaker, I find myself once again coming to this floor to implore President Obama to abandon his ill-conceived executive action and instead come to this Capitol, work with this Congress, share ideas, collaborate, and together we can make a real, positive impact on behalf of the American people,” Byrne said.