Ros-Lehtinen, Díaz-Balart, Curbelo and Sires Make Joint Statement Regarding Unaccounted U.S. Hellfire Missile Acquired By The Castro Regime

Jan 8, 2016

Ros-Lehtinen, Díaz-Balart, Curbelo and Sires Make Joint Statement Regarding Unaccounted U.S. Hellfire Missile Acquired By The Castro Regime

“The fact that the Castro regime was able to acquire a U.S. Hellfire missile could be indicative of the lengths it is willing to go to undermine our national security and harm our interests”

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL); Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Albio Sires (D-NJ) made the following joint statement concerning reports that Cuba is in possession of a U.S. Hellfire missile.

Joint Statement by Ros-Lehtinen, Díaz-Balart, Curbelo and Sires:

“Regardless of how Cuba came into possession of a U.S. Hellfire missile – which must be investigated – it is unconscionable that the Obama administration knew the Castros were in possession of this sensitive U.S. military technology since June 2014 and still moved forward with its policy to open up travel, trade, investment and diplomatic relations with the regime.

“The fact that the Castro regime was able to acquire a U.S. Hellfire missile could be indicative of the lengths it is willing to go to undermine our national security and harm our interests. Congress must provide oversight to determine how the U.S. export control system failed to prevent this gross violation from occurring, and if Cuba’s espionage apparatus played a role in this Hellfire acquisition.

“The Cuban regime rebuffed the President’s efforts to secure the return of the Hellfire missile even as the negotiations were ongoing, and yet the regime still got everything it could have wanted. It is no wonder that the Castro brothers feel ever more emboldened to continue on with the repression of the Cuban people, with intimidation and unlawful arrests at an alarmingly high rate.

“This is a very serious breach and we are deeply concerned that the Castros have already shared the sensitive technology with the likes of Russia, North Korea or China. Let us not forget that last year the Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu and China's top military official General Fan Changlong both visited Havana to discuss strengthening military cooperation efforts and one of Cuba’s senior officials Miguel Diaz-Canel traveled to the DPRK to visit Kim Jong-Un. We urge the Administration to start holding the Cuban regime accountable for its continued transgressions not only against its own people, but its continued disregard for international norms.”