Rep. Ros-Lehtinen is Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

For nearly 50 years the human rights of Cubans, including freedom of expression, due process of law, and freedom of assembly, have been systematically denied under Castro’s totalitarian regime. Democracy promotion programs and U.S. funded broadcasts are aimed at helping Cuba’s 11 million people to break free of the regime’s oppressive rule and lift the veil of censorship that the dictatorship imposes on the Cuban people.

Despite concerns about attempts to undermine our Cuba policy, the critics were thwarted in their efforts to weaken U.S. sanctions on this state-sponsor of terrorism just 90 miles from our shores. In the year ahead we will remain vigilant and resist those in Congress who are ready abandon the struggle for human rights and dignity and reward the dictatorship.