Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member, issued the following statement on the State Department’s disclosure of the names of the 53 political prisoners the Cuban government committed to releasing:

“Last Thursday, we wrote the State Department to provide us with the names of the 53 political prisoners that the Cuban government committed to releasing during talks to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba. Today, the State Department provided us with the names of these individuals. We appreciate Secretary Kerry’s response in providing us with this information, which will help keep the Castro regime accountable to its commitments.  We urge the Administration to continue pressing for greater human rights protections on the part of Cuba.  We look forward to holding hearings on Cuba to review all of the Administration’s actions.

“The release of the 53 is a positive step, but merely a step by the Cuban government toward what is truly needed. We urge the Cuban government to build on this action by allowing for greater political freedom on the island and respecting the human rights of all Cubans. We will continue to monitor the human rights situation in Cuba very closely.”

The Royce-Engel letter to Kerry is available HERE.
Secretary Kerry’s response is available HERE.