Ros-Lehtinen Responds to President Obama’s Final State of the Union Speech

Jan 12, 2016

Ros-Lehtinen Responds to President Obama’s Final State of the Union Speech

(Washington, DC) - Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, made the following statement in response to the text of President Obama’s final State of the Union speech released earlier tonight by the White House.

Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

"President Obama's final State of the Union Address will be remembered not for what he said, but for what he didn’t say.

The President has failed yet again to use this opportunity to lay out a comprehensive plan to Congress and the American people on how best to defeat ISIS, and instead has opted to try to lull us into a false sense of security that is belied by the facts on the ground here in the U.S. and across the globe.

It's much the same situation with Iran: the President touted his nuclear deal with Tehran, yet what the President didn't say is that, since the deal, we have seen an increasingly bellicose regime flouting the international community, daring us to take action against its illicit behavior and then threatening to walk away from the nuclear deal if we do respond.

Just like there is no provocation Iran can take that would preclude the President from moving forward with his nuclear agreement with Iran, there is no abusive act committed by the Castro regime that is not rewarded by the White House with even more concessions. The President touts his normalization effort but what we don't hear from the President is that the Castro brothers continue to detain, arrest, and beat the Ladies in White and other pro-democracy leaders in addition to denying the Cuban people their basic human rights. It is also inexcusable for the President to advocate to lift the embargo but not mention the conditions within the embargo that are necessary for it to be lifted nor did he advocate for sanctions or criminal penalties for any individual who was behind Cuba acquiring a U.S. Hellfire missile or not demand for the Castro regime to return this equipment immediately. 

Just a few short days ago, the world was reminded of precisely what the consequences of a weak and dangerous nuclear deal with a rogue regime could be as North Korea claimed to have conducted its fourth nuclear detonation, foreshadowing what we can expect from Iran in the coming years as a result of this administration's failure to secure a strong and ironclad assurance that Iran can never produce a nuclear weapon.

In Venezuela, the President failed to acknowledge the countless human rights violations in Venezuela and has been silent on the recent news that Maduro is using his power to nullify elections results for fear of the opposition taking control of the National Assembly – ignoring the intent of the U.S. Congress to harshly sanction Venezuelan officials who have abused the judicial system for political means.

The President is clearly more interested in preserving his legacy, than holding rogue regimes accountable or standing up for those people that are being oppressed.” 

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NOTE: Rep. Ros-Lehtinen’s statement is in response to the text of the State of the Union released by the White House before the President’s address.