Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of State’s release of its 2012 Human Rights Report:
“As Americans, we are blessed to live in a nation that was founded on the fundamental truths that all humans are created equal and possess God-given rights that cannot be revoked. For over two centuries, the world has been a better place because America has strived to defend these fundamental human rights both at home and abroad.
“The State Department’s annual human rights report sheds light on foreign governments’ failure to respect their citizens’ fundamental rights. These violations come in all shapes and sizes, from the sexual exploitation of women and children to the denial of political rights to minorities. It is important that these nations know that the United States will stand with freedom-seeking people around the world and will not tolerate violations against their rights. Additionally, we must be mindful that American action or inaction influences tyrants’ decision to commit atrocities. During every diplomatic meeting, respect for human rights should be central to the discussion.
“Currently, we face tremendous challenges to human rights around the globe. In Cuba, the Castro regime continues to deny its citizens the most basic freedoms. In Iran, there is currently an American pastor who is imprisoned for exercising his fundamental human right to religious freedom. In Asia, Tibetans continue to engage in self-immolation in a desperate attempt to bring attention to their repression by the Chinese government.
“All over the world, America has opportunities like these to clearly stand on the side of freedom and human rights, and we must ensure that our actions reflect this message to people who look to America for support.”