Home

Boehner Invites Anti-Castro Cubans to Obama Speech

President Barack Obama greets Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on the House floor last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner's list of invitees to Tuesday night's State of the Union address includes two prominent Cuban dissidents, Jorge Luis García Pérez (known as Antúnez) and Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera.  

Pérez is a leader of the Cuban resistance movement who was jailed for 17 years for publicly denouncing the Castro regime. He was released in 2007. His wife, Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, founded the Rosa Parks Feminine Civic Rights Movement to fight against human rights violations in Cuba.  

The Ohio Republican isn't the only member putting the spotlight on Cuba's human rights record just weeks after President Barack Obama announced a dramatic thaw in U.S. relations with the communist nation.  

Another Republican, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, has invited as her guest Marlene Alejandre Trianathe, daughter of Brothers to the Rescue pilot Armando Alejandre Jr., who was killed when his plane was shot down in 1996 over international waters by the Castro regime.  

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, one of the harshest critics of the president's plans to normalize relations with Cuba, has invited Cuban dissident Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo.  

The administration has invited as a guest of the first lady American businessman Alan Gross, who was freed by the Cuban regime on Dec. 17, the day the president announced the new Cuban initiatives.  

   

Related: Obama Would End Death Tax Break for Wealthy to Fund Middle Class Tax Breaks, Programs Joke, Flatter, Dig In: Handling Post-Shellacking SOTUs The Updated Staffer Guide for SOTU A Guide to SOTU Watch Parties D.C. Mayor to Attend SOTU The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.