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Mr. ROUZER. Mr. Speaker, I found out on Friday of this past week that Cuba's Border Guard and Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been hosted in the North Carolina congressional district that I am honored to represent. The Wilmington Port facilities visit was planned and authorized by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State.
As one of our Nation's oldest adversaries and a state sponsor of terrorism, Cuba's Communist Government is no friend of the United States or anyone else who believes in freedom. Cuba has a history of being a strategic Western asset to our greatest adversaries, including China, Russia, and Iran, and they regularly cooperate with narcotics traffickers, bringing cocaine, fentanyl, and other deadly drugs to our country.
Now I am told this trip, as well as others in the past, have been arranged as part of a reciprocal relationship to turn back Cubans fleeing to the United States. We apparently have this arrangement where we view their ports and security protocols, and they view ours.
There is no reason any nation with a state sponsor of terrorism designation should be hosted by the United States, let alone be allowed to analyze sensitive coastal and maritime security protocols. Ironically, the decision to designate Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism and the decision to authorize this trip were made by the same agencies. This action flies in the face of the purpose of both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State and makes a mockery of American strength against our adversaries.
The shores of North Carolina's Seventh Congressional District are used and enjoyed by its residents and countless tourists from across the country. It is our responsibility to ensure the security of our maritime borders, and our Coast Guard often serves as the first line of defense against these threats.
Mr. Speaker, this visit was a clear national security risk. I don't know how one could view it otherwise. The bottom line is, this visit should never have happened, and the American people deserve to know what steps were taken to protect our national security interests.
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