(Note RSVP requirement for media covering February 4 hearing on Cuba)

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced the following upcoming Committee events:

Tuesday, February 3

Subcommittee Hearing: The Strategic Importance of the Western Hemisphere: Defining U.S. Interests in the Region

11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 3 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Shannon K. O’Neil, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies
Council on Foreign Relations

Ms. Bonnie Glick
Senior Vice President
GlobalConnect Division
Meridian International Center

Evan Ellis, Ph.D.

Mr. Eric Farnsworth
Vice President
Council of the Americas and Americas Society

Chairman Duncan on the hearing: “The U.S. has many strategic interests in the Western Hemisphere. While our attention is often captivated by events in Asia, Europe, or the Middle East and North Africa, crises and firefighting should not determine the level of a region’s priority for the U.S. With no ocean separating the Americas, both threats and opportunities in Canada, the Caribbean, and Latin America have a greater potential to impact the U.S. homeland, the American people, and American businesses. Therefore, this first Subcommittee hearing will focus on the strategic importance of the Western Hemisphere for U.S. interests. As one of the fastest-growing trading partners for the U.S. and with energy opportunities abounding in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago, this region offers excellent opportunities for U.S. sustained engagement. I am deeply interested in conducting strong oversight of the Administration’s policies and programs, ensuring wise accounting of U.S. taxpayer dollars, and remaining vigilant to the growing presence of China, North Korea, and Russia in our neighborhood.”

Wednesday, February 4

Hearing: Cuba: Assessing the Administration’s Sudden Shift

10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 4 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Media RSVP requirement by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 3. Details HERE.

Committee on Foreign Affairs

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

The Honorable Roberta S. Jacobson
Assistant Secretary
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
U.S. Department of State

Mr. John E. Smith
Deputy Director
Office of Foreign Assets Control
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Mr. Matthew S. Borman
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration
Bureau of Industry and Security
U.S. Department of Commerce

Chairman Royce on the hearing: “The Obama Administration’s sudden shift on Cuba policy raises many concerns, including how hard the United States pressed the Castro regime on its abysmal human rights record during the secret White House negotiations that cut out the State Department.  Cuba has been the region’s worst human rights violator for decades, and dissidents on the island have long looked to the United States for support and solidarity.  Now the Administration  is normalizing relations with this oppressive regime without insisting on dramatic improvements in the human rights front.   And more business that gives hard currency to the regime while workers get a few scraps of local currency is a recipe for greater repression, not Cuban liberation. This hearing will provide an opportunity for the Committee to press State, Treasury, and Commerce Department officials for the many missing details of its entire normalization plan.”

Wednesday, February 4

Subcommittee Hearing: The Palestinian Authority’s International Criminal Court Gambit: A True Partner for Peace?

2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 4 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Jonathan Schanzer, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research
Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Mr. Eugene Kontorovich  
Professor of Law
Northwestern University School of Law

Ms. Danielle Pletka
Senior Vice President
Foreign and Defense Policy Studies
American Enterprise Institute

Mr. David Makovsky
Ziegler Distinguished Fellow
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Chairman Ros-Lehtinen on the hearing: “The Palestinian Authority’s schemes at international organizations, like the UN and the International Criminal Court, are a bridge too far and should once and for all settle the debate over whether or not Abu Mazen is a true partner for peace. These moves do nothing but undermine the peace process and effectively signal its demise. Many legal questions about the PA’s ICC gambit remain, but one thing is certain, and that is that the U.S. must suspend all funding to the PA and the administration must seriously redefine its policies toward the PA. This hearing will examine the legal aspects of the PA’s foray into the ICC, what it means for U.S. policy, and how that may impact U.S. national security. It will also examine the current state of affairs in Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as the U.S.-PA and U.S.-Israel bilateral relations.”

Thursday, February 5

Subcommittee Hearing: Human Rights in Cuba: A Squandered Opportunity

10:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 5 in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building

Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman

Invited Witnesses Include:

Mr. Jorge Luis García Pérez
Secretary General
Cuban National Civic Resistance Front

Chairman Smith on the hearing: “This hearing will examine the still-deplorable state of human rights in Cuba, especially the regime’s treatment of Afro-Cubans, who face discrimination on a day-to-day basis.  The Obama Administration, in its haste to achieve a breakthrough in Cuba, missed an opportunity to better conditions on the island and to hold the Castro regime to certain basic human rights standards in exchange for normalizing relations.  The Administration is wrong to attempt a sea change in policy toward Cuba without congressional input and in apparent disregard of well-established law, not to mention concern for the well-being of the Cuban people, who suffer under a communist dictatorship which has shown no signs of reform.”


***See foreignaffairs.house.gov for updates.

***Coverage note: All Foreign Affairs Committee proceedings are webcast live at foreignaffairs.house.gov/live-video-feed.