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Ileana Ros-Lehtinen turns down invite to State Dinner with China's Hu

The Miami Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee said she turned down the invite to tonight's dinner at the White House "without a moment's hesitation.

"I don't know if it's appropriate as a refugee of Communism to be sitting, with a lot of pomp and chit chat, with a leader who has instituted economic reforms but has not opened the political arena," she said.

The Havana-born lawmaker said she'll see Chinese President Hu Jintao when he visits with Congress Thursday and plans to give him a letter she gave to President Barack Obama outling her issues with China: "He censors the Internet, he has students rounded up, religious minorities are prosecuted."

She said she wouldn't have held a state dinner for Hu: "There are so many leaders who are far more deserving than the leader of a repressive regime."

Here's the guest list. House Foreign Affairs top Democrat, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., made it, along with Senate Foreign Relations chair John Kerry, D-Mass., and ranking Republican Richard Lugar of Indiana. Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, was also invited: "I take the reason I was invited as a statement to President Hu," Roth told reporters as he arrived.


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An Abysmal display by the House Rep who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The way to promote Democracy is through diplomacy and commerce, in China and Cuba.


Yes, and both countries have had plenty of diplomacy and commerce for decades with the rest of the world and yet, the average citizen in both nations continue to be treated like animals or properties of the state - go figure!

Maybe if we actually stopped the hypocritical attitude towards these repressive countries and finally got tough like the world treated the repressive regime of Apartheid in South Africa, maybe real progress in human rights can be achieved.

But I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Let's raise our champagne flute to "diplomacy."


Hey Sunny, just can't stand the fact that someone's actually got scruples and morals, eh?

I escaped

The cuban-american community is proud of having a leader as Ileana who stands by her principles.

Juana Maria

Good for you Ileana. Hopefully the rest of the Government will follow suit and understand that diplomacy and decency are two different things.

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