Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued this statement following the ceremonial opening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana.  Cuban dissidents were not invited by the U.S. State Department to the event, attended by Secretary of State John Kerry.

“The flag raised over the US embassy in Havana stands for freedom and democracy.  Cubans struggling against the Castro regime for the ideals behind the Stars and Stripes – freedom of speech, assembly, and other basic rights – deserved to see the flag hoisted.  Why are these brave Cubans being kept out of sight?  The U.S. flag was raised today, but the Obama Administration again lowered expectations that it will seriously push the Castro brothers on human rights.”