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Rubio Marks Human Rights Day

Dec 10, 2016 | Blog

Today, Human Rights Day, we celebrate the God-given rights of every individual, and remember that millions of people around the world are still denied their fundamental rights to live peacefully with freedom and dignity.

That is why the United States must continue to champion human rights in all corners of the globe. Unfortunately, our country has shamefully looked the other way when it comes to human rights violators like Cuba, China, and Saudi Arabia. We’ve also done too little to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, who have endured years of violence under the brutal Assad regime backed by two other serial human rights abusers, Russia and Iran.

Instead of standing with the Cuban people against their oppressors, President Obama has showered the totalitarian Castro regime with endless one-sided concessions. I will continue to support Cuba’s political prisoners, dissidents and democracy advocates struggling to realize their human rights.

Chinese dissident and writer Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize six years ago “for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China.” Today, instead of holding this prestigious honor, he rots in jail under a harsh sentence—solely for criticizing his own government.

In Saudi Arabia, Raif Badawi similarly languishes in prison, awaiting flogging simply because he encouraged political and religious debate.

These are just some of the faces of those fighting for the basic rights and freedoms we enjoy here in America. Our country must be a voice for the voiceless, and these heroes need our support. On this Human Rights Day, let us renew our commitment to championing their cause.