Moral Low Ground

US Government

Terrorist-Supporting Congresswoman Ileana-Ros Lehtinen Slams Beyoncé and Jay-Z Cuba Trip

Terrorist supporter. (Photo: House Foreign Affairs Committee)

Terrorist supporter. (Photo: House Foreign Affairs Committee)

A Republican US congresswoman best known for her staunch support for terrorists who have killed scores of innocent Cubans has slammed hip-hop power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary in Cuba.

Although US citizens are generally barred from visiting Cuba as part of an internationally-condemned economic embargo of the socialist dictatorship, Beyoncé and Jay-Z obtained permission from the Treasury Department to travel to the island on an “educational exchange trip” designed to “promote people-to-people contact in Cuba.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Cuban-born congresswoman who represents a large portion of the Miami metropolitan area, had written a letter to the Treasury Department asking if and why the couple was allowed to travel to Cuba. Other Cuban-American Republican leaders from Florida, such as Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, also demanded answers about the nature of the couple’s trip.

Ros-Lehtinen was not satisfied with the government’s response and said she wished Beyoncé and Jay-Z would have avoided Cuba and gone somewhere else on vacation.

“I wish that they would have a little more common sense and understanding and solidarity with the suffering of the Cuban people,” Ros-Lehtinen told CNN on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it sends the right message to the suffering Cuban people,” Ros-Lehtinen later added. “They want freedom, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z are there to have a good time. They should go somewhere else.”

But Ros-Lehtinen’s professed concern for the suffering of the Cuban people belies her staunch support for Miami-based Cuban exile terrorists who have carried out deadly attacks against the Castro regime as well as against innocent civilians. Among many other deadly acts of terror, Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles masterminded the 1976 bombing of Cubana Airlines Flight 455, resulting in the deaths of 73 innocent civilians, many of them teenagers.

According to the Justice Department, “for 30 years, Bosch has been resolute and unwavering in his advocacy of terrorist violence… He has repeatedly expressed and demonstrated a willingness to cause indiscriminate injury and death.”

But to fiercely anti-communist and anti-Castro Cuban exiles like Ros-Lehtinen, terrorists like Bosch are heroes. Despite having been convicted and imprisoned in Venezuela for his role in the bombing of Flight 455, Ros-Lehtinen helped organize an official “Orlando Bosch Day” celebration in 1982 to honor the terrorist.

Otto Reich, another Cuban-born Republican who served as President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to Venezuela, helped secure Bosch’s freedom. A few years later, the terrorist illegally entered the United States, where he was greeted as a hero. He was soon arrested on a parole violation, however, and needed the help of powerful friends to secure his release. Ros-Lehtinen, who was then a state senator running for US Congress, made the campaign to free Orlando Bosch one of her signature election issues. Ros-Lehtinen turned to her campaign manager, a well-connected young real estate developer and future governor named Jeb Bush, to get Bosch out of jail. Bush, in turn, lobbied his father, who just happened to be President of the United States, and it wasn’t long before Bosch was freed and allowed to live in Miami for “humanitarian reasons.”

As unrepentant as Orlando Bosch was until the day he died, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has been equally unwavering in her support for Cuban exile terrorists, who she calls “freedom fighters.” Those “freedom fighters” have killed countless innocent Cuban men, women and children over the past half century, casting doubt among critics upon Ros-Lehtinen’s professed concern for the “suffering of the Cuban people.”

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