GOP lawmaker: State may stop informing about Cuba visas

The chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said the State Department has told her it may cease to inform lawmakers when it grants visas to Cuban officials. 

In a statement late Thursday, Chairwoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said State was considering ending an agreement that has been in place with her committee since 1997 and has been respected by successive administrations since then.

“State employees and officials have indicated they may stop honoring a long-standing agreement with me on behalf of the House Foreign Affairs Committee requiring notification of State actions concerning travel by Cuban regime officials," Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.

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The rift comes as the four Cuban-Americans serving in the House of Representatives sent a scathing letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton questioning her judgment. 


The lawmakers – three Republicans and one Democrat – are taking issue with the administration's granting of visas to three regime officials, including the daughter of President Raul Castro's daughter, Mariela Castro Espin. 

“Allowing these Cuban regime operatives into the United States is dangerous, irresponsible, and contrary to longstanding U.S. policy toward a regime with one of the world's worst human rights records,” reads the letter from Ros-Lehtinen and Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Albio Sires (D-N.Y.) and David Rivera (R-Fla.). “We strongly urge you to exercise better judgment when reviewing entry requests from representatives of enemy states in the future.”