GOP Candidate for Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares issued the following statement on Monday:
Yesterday, thousands of Cuban people broke into protests to oppose their oppressive dictatorship. For over 60 years, the Cuban people have not had a free election — or a voice.
Amidst Democrat Nominee for Governor Terry McAuliffe’s silence on the issue, it is important to remember not so long ago when then-Governor McAuliffe took an official trip to Cuba. He came back and bragged about his incredible relationship with the socialist dictatorship, about what a wonderful experience he had visiting the only non-democracy in North America.
But not once during the trip did Governor McAuliffe stand up in the name of democracy. Not once did he speak out for the Cuban people who live their lives in fear of the oppressive regime, that are denied every day the most basic human rights in the name of socialism and communism.
As the Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe held the same seat as Thomas Jefferson. Over 240 years ago, Mr. Jefferson uttered the timely words that “all men are created equal and are endowed with certain inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Mr. Jefferson uttered those words to the most powerful empire the world had ever seen risking his very life.
During his trip to Cuba four years ago, Governor McAuliffe had every opportunity to meet with the dissidents of this failed socialist dictatorship and he refused. It was a test of history, and he failed to champion the principles of freedom and democracy that every Virginian cherishes. Now he is once again running for Governor of Virginia and once again, he is silent as the Cuban people beg for freedom. Perhaps he can call his friends in the Cuban socialist government and tell them Virginians care about democracy and human dignity.
Today, while the Cuban people bravely stand up for themselves and protest in the name of democracy, let’s remember that when given the chance, Terry McAuliffe stayed silent. His silence remains today.