**see also the extensive link section on Venezuela in the Opening Packet
Ros-Lehtinen link module
( ) Our Ros-Lehtinen Link
First – she’s opposed to engaging Venezuela unless specific human rights conditions are attached.
Congressional Documents and Publications ‘13
(June 4, 2013 – lexis)
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement after meeting with Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado and writing a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking for the immediate release of U.S. citizen Timothy Tracy, being held hostage in Venezuela. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:¶ "Today I had the honor of meeting with Venezuelan pro-democracy leader Maria Corina Machado, a stalwart champion of democracy for Venezuela. I applaud her for her courage in continuing to boldly speak out against the Maduro regime, and join her in urging the U.S. and responsible nations to be on the side of the people of Venezuela and support them in calling out the illegitimate elections and robbing the Venezuelan people of true democracy.¶ "Under the Maduro regime, democracy is made a pathetic jokeand Venezuelans continue to be deprived of their human rights. It is also appalling that this regime has unjustly detained Tim Tracy, a U.S. citizen who was simply exercising his freedom of speech in making a documentary, but now finds himself sharing a prison with some of the worst criminals of Venezuela. This situation is unacceptableand I urge the State Department to do all it can to secure Tracy's release and safe return to the United States unconditionally."
And – She hates Venezuela and brings in the Israel lobby
Wayne Madsen, Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. Has some twenty years experience in security issues. As a U.S. Naval Officer, he managed one of the first computer security programs for the U.S. Navy. He has been a frequent political and national security commentator on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and MS-NBC. He has been invited to testify as a witness before the US House of Representatives, the UN Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and an terrorism investigation panel of the French government. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club., 6/20/11, http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2011/06/20/the-outsourcing-of-influence-peddling-to-the-israeli-lobby.html
The confluence of the Israel Lobby with pressure groups such as those that support the Saakashvili regime in Georgia is not an isolated situation. Before the rise to power of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, Israel could rely on the support of successive Turkish governments. Turkey, in turn, established its own Washington-based lobbying group, the American Turkish Council, which was modeled on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It was recently learned from Turkish government officials in Washington that the secret network of Turkish military officers, politicians, intelligence officers, professors, and journalists known as “Ergenekon,” which plotted a series of coups against independent-minded Turkish governments, was a construct of the CIA and Mossad. An in-depth investigation of the Ergenekon network conducted by the Turkish intelligence service discovered that many of the key players in Ergenekon were Dönme, the descendants of Turkish Jews who converted to Islam and, to varying degrees, now practice a combination of Kabbalah Judaism and Islamic Sufism while remaining secular and Turkish nationalist in the mold of Turkish state founder Kemal Ataturk. Similarly, the Israel Lobby has made common causewith the right-wing Cuban exile community in Florida, which has become as influential in the politicsof south Florida as the many Jews and Israelis who live there. The convergence of interests of pro-Israelis and Cuban Gusano exiles can best be seen in the current chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who represents a congressional district in south Florida. Ros-Lehtinen, who is of Cuban Jewish descent, is one of AIPAC’s and the ADL’s best friends in Congress. She is also a vociferous opponent of the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua, both of which have severed diplomatic relations with Israeland have recognized the independence of Abkhazia, to the dismay of Israel, AIPAC, and the ADL. While Ros-Lehtinen rattles sabers against Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, and other Latin American nations that have recognized Palestine within its 1967 borders, she supports continued U.S. military assistance to Colombia, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama, Israel’s last four remaining allies in Latin America. Ros-Lehtinen, while decrying alleged human rights “abuses” in Venezuela and Nicaragua, is silent on actual abuses in Colombia, where Israelis routinely supply weapons and advisers to the government in its inhumane war with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), peasants, and labor unionists. The trial in New York of Russian air cargo services owner Viktor Bout for allegedly trying to sell weapons to the FARC is one outcome of the strategic alliance between Israel, its U.S. Lobby, and the right-wing Latin American exiles and intelligence operatives who call Miami their home. The conviction and imprisonment of former Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, considered a major agent-of-influence for Israel in Russia and a one-time potential President of Russia, has placed Russia in the same category as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Abkhazia, Turkey, and other nationsthat have incurredthe ire of the Israel Lobbyeither directly or via outsourcing deals made with strategic allies such as the Georgians, Cuban exiles, or, now, in the case of Turkey, the Armenians. In the past, AIPAC always ensured that “Armenian genocide” resolutions failed in the U.S. Congress, a payback for Turkey’s support for Israel. With Turkey adopting an independent foreign policy, AIPAC and the ADL are now strategically allied with the Armenian lobby to push for Armenian genocide resolutions in Washington and elsewhere.
Israel lobby key to agenda
(James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, 4/6, http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=7)
The problem of war and peace in the Middle East and the role of the Israel lobby is too serious to be marginalized as an after-thought. Even more important the increasing censoring of free speech and erosion of our civil liberties, academic freedom by an aggressive lobby, with powerful legislative and White House backers is a threat to our already limited democracy. It is incumbent therefore to examine the fourteen erroneous theses of the highly respected Professor Chomsky in order to move ahead and confront the Lobby?s threats to peace abroad and civil liberties at home. Fourteen Theses Chomsky claims that the Lobby is just another lobby in Washington. Yet he fails to observe that the lobby has secured the biggest Congressional majorities in favor of allocating three times the annual foreign aid designated to all of Africa, Asia and Latin America to Israel (over 100 billion dollars over the past 40 years). The Lobby has 150 full time functionaries working forthe American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), accompanied by an army of lobbyists from all the major Jewish organizations (Anti-Defamation League, B?nai Brith, American Jewish Committee, etc) and the nation-wide, regional and local Jewish Federations which hew closely to the line of the ‘majors’ and are active in policy and local opinion on Israel and promote and finance legislative candidates on the basis of their adherence to the Lobby’s party line. No other lobby combines the wealth, grass roots networks, media access, legislative muscle and single-minded purpose of the pro-Israel lobby. Chomsky fails to analyze the near unanimouscongressional majorities which yearly support all the pro-Israel military, economic, immigration privileges and aid promoted by the Lobby. He fails to examine the list of over 100 successful legislative initiatives publicized yearly by AIPAC even in years of budgetary crisis, disintegrating domestic health services and war induced military losses.
It’s unique – she’s currently on-board for immigration reform.
William M. LeoGrande School of Public Affairs American University, Professor of Government and a specialist in Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America, Professor LeoGrande has been a frequent adviser to government and private sector agencies, 12/18/12, http://www.american.edu/clals/upload/LeoGrande-Fresh-Start.pdf
But was Obama's success a harbinger of structural realignment in the Cuban-American community or merely a conjunctural product of Romney's flawed candidacy? The Republican ticket had its shortcomings. In 2007, candidate Romney famously ended a speech to stunned Cuban-Americans with Fidel Castro's signature closing, "Patria o muerte! Venceremos!" (Homeland or death! We shall overcome!). Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan had a record 8 of repeatedly voting in the House of Representatives to end the embargo against Cuba (on the libertarian grounds that the government should not impede free trade). "That did their ticket a lot of harm with Cubans, and allowed us to at least get a hearing with them about many other economic issues," an Obama campaign official said.9 Moreover, the Republican Party's anti-immigrant posture, which hurt it with Latino voters nationwide, hurt it with Cuban-American voters as well. The state's most prominent national Republican elected officials– Senator Marco Rubio, and Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, all distanced themselves from their Party's hardline on immigration reform. In 1996, when Bill Clinton won 35% of the Cuban-American vote against Bob Dole, 10 the Republican Party was also hurt by its anti-immigration policy. That year, the Republican Platform supported making English the official language, advocated cutting off welfare for noncitizens, and deny citizenship to the U.S.-born children of illegal aliens. Yet despite these 11 problems, there was growing evidence that Obama's gains might represent more than just Romney's weakness. Polling by Florida International University since 1991 has chronicled gradual changes in the Cuban-American community in south Florida, both demographically and attitudinally– changes that, as they begin to manifest themselves in voting behavior, do not bode well for the Republican Party. The Cuban-American Electorate When FIU began polling Cuban-Americans south Florida in 1991, 87% favored continuation of the U.S. embargo. By 2011, support had fallen to 56%. In 1993, 75% of respondents opposed the sale of food to Cuba and 50% opposed the sale of medicine. By 2011, solid majorities (65% and 75% respectively) supported both. In 1991, 55% opposed unrestricted travel to Cuba, whereas in 2011, 57% supported unrestricted travel for all Americans and 66% supported unrestricted travel for Cuban-Americans (Table 2). These changes in Cuban-American opinion were clearly linked to demographic changes in the community. Exiles who arrived in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s came as political refugees, motivated principally by their opposition to the socialist course of the revolution. Those who arrived in the Mariel exodus in 1980 and afterwards were more likely to have left for economic reasons. Recent arrivals, especially those who arrived in the post-cold war era, were far more likely to have maintained ties with family on the island. A 2007 poll of Cuban-Americans in south Florida found that 58.3% were sending remittances to Cuba, but fewer than half of those who arrived before 1985 were sending money, whereas three quarters of more recent arrivals were. The differences in age and experience among different waves of 12 migrants produced sharply different opinions about relations with the island, with more recent arrivals being far more likely to favor policies that reduce bilateral tensions and barriers to family linkages, especially the ability to travel and send remittances (Table 3).