April 9th, 2009
02:45 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP lawmakers blast Cuba visit by Black Caucus members

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two Republican congressmen ripped Congressional Black Caucus members for ignoring Cuba's "myriad gross human rights abuses" Thursday, saying this week's caucus trip to the island nation ignored the plight of political prisoners under the Castro regime.

They also urged the Obama administration to refrain from easing trade embargo or travel restrictions until the Cuban government releases all "prisoners of conscience," shows greater respect for freedom of religion and speech, and holds "free and fair" elections.

The call from Reps. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, and Frank Wolf, R-Virginia, came three days after the administration signaled that new rules on family travel and remittances to Cuba may be announced before President Obama goes to the Summit of the Americas on April 17.

It also followed statements from several Black Caucus members Tuesday arguing for consideration of an end to the trade embargo and other diplomatic restrictions placed on Cuba for five decades.

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Filed under: Cuba • Republican Party
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