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Rubio Joins Ambassador Haley for Discussion with Hispanic and Latin American Community Leaders in Miami

Mar 2, 2018 | Press Releases

Miami, FL. – Today, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Ambassador Nikki R. Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, for a discussion at Florida International University (FIU) with Hispanic and Latin American community leaders following her recent travels to Honduras and Guatemala. Joining Rubio and Haley were Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL).
 
A partial transcript of Rubio’s remarks is below:
 
RUBIO: I am proud to call her a friend. She’s doing a phenomenal job. I remember when she was nominated people said well what does she know about foreign policy. I said you don’t know Nikki Haley. She speaks with strong moral clarity. She knows more about foreign policy, certainly at this point, than many of the people that have been there for 30 or 40 years because here’s what she knows: there is a right side on an issue and there’s a wrong side on the issue. And that voice of moral clarity has never been more needed on the world stage.
 

 
I want to thank FIU for hosting this because this is the right forum. This is what this university literally not just provides a forum for but a voice for. It is the place where thousands of American dreams come true on a regular basis as the congresswoman said, from people who have made their lives in this country because of the tragedies that have occurred in this hemisphere.
 
I also want to say that as the ambassador just pointed out that, this is the year of the Americas. That’s not rhetorical, that’s real. And the record proves it. Beginning early last year, you saw the president take decisive action, both in Venezuela and on Cuba, and continues to take decisive action and moving us in the right direction. This is the year of the Americas – you have already seen the Secretary of State travel to the region. You have seen the Ambassador to the United Nations travel once and planning to return again. The Summit of the Americas is going to have very high-level delegations and I’ll leave it to the Administration to make those announcements.
 
It’s also an important year in the Americas for it is a year that there will be free and democratic elections in Colombia, and in Mexico, important countries. And a year in which there are going to be fraudulent so-called elections in Venezuela. And in Cuba, by the way, where they’re going to transition from a communist named Castro to a communist not named Castro. Nonetheless, not just a communist but a dictator by a different name and we can go into depth about that as well.
 
So it’s an incredibly important year in the hemisphere. A lot of good news in the hemisphere and there are some challenges. But it is a hemisphere that has to choose and continues to make the choice between embracing freedom, liberty, democracy, free enterprise, and a partnership with the United States, and a handful of efforts in the region to continue to move in a more authoritarian and dictatorial direction. Sometimes they do it blatantly. And sometimes they hide behind elections. … Often times the elections aren’t real. Well you have an election where you know how everybody votes and you can change the outcome of it, if it isn’t to your liking. When you hold an election where anybody who could possibly beat you can’t run because they’re in jail, that’s not an election. And it’s important for us to be a clear voice in that regard. This is an important forum and we have a very strong voice and moral clarity in the United Nations in regards to not just this issue, but issues all over the world.
 
So thank you for coming to Miami. By the way, this was her idea. She wanted to come here after this trip.
 

 
She wanted to come here to the capital of the western hemisphere, which is what America really is. It’s the crossroads. And she wanted to come here to FIU because she knows that this is a place where the future leaders in this region and on American foreign policy are being forged with regards to this region. So thank you for hosting this and thank you for being here and thank you all for coming.

Photos courtesy of Senator Rubio’s office.