Video and Petition to Senator Rubio and Rep. Ros-Lehtinen Raise Questions about Double-Standards in U.S. Human Rights and Travel Policies

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA), an independent non-profit organization, has posted a petition and video on focused on the visit to China that Senator Marco Rubio and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen allowed top staffers in their offices to take with expenses picked up by China’s government.

The Tampa Bay Times broke the story which was confirmed by both offices.

Senator Rubio and Rep. Ros-Lehtinen criticize both the Chinese and Cuban governments for their human rights practices, and both cite human rights abuses as a top reason why they oppose travel by Americans to Cuba.  Yet, neither explained why they support travel to China by their staffs paid for by the Chinese government.

The video (with references to demonstrations in Hong Kong) poses a simple choice to the legislators: “If they support travel to countries like China, they should end the ban on U.S. citizens visiting Cuba. And if they won’t support our right to visit Cuba freely, then they should pay the Chinese government back for the cost of their staffers’ trips.”

“CDA believes strongly that engagement is the best path to addressing human rights, and that is why we support travel to China just as we support travel to Cuba,” said Sarah Stephens, CDA director.  “Our question to Senator Rubio and Rep. Ros-Lehtinen is this:  As human rights champions, how can you justify engagement with China while vehemently opposing travel to Cuba?  We believe America’s foreign policy must be consistent and clear; when we apply a double standard, our voice loses credibility in the world.”

CDA’s Cuba program works for changes in U.S. policy to allow travel to Cuba by all Americans, promote diplomatic engagement and government-to-government cooperation, and lead to the normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

For further information about CDA, visit our website.

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SOURCE The Center for Democracy in the Americas

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