U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart denounced the opening of the American embassy in Cuba in a press conference Wednesday, with Ros-Lehtinen calling it "atrocious."
"It is saddening and disheartening that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have chosen to carry on with this diplomatic charade and reopen a U.S. embassy in Cuba, rewarding the tyrannical Castro regime," said Ros-Lehtinen in a statement ahead of the press conference.
She offered similar sentiments upon the opening of the Cuban embassy in Washington, DC last month, saying "The Cuban people’s oppressors will not hesitate to use this ‘embassy’ as a spy hub, as they have done in the past to threaten our homeland."
Diaz-Balart added that both the American and Cuban people both "deserve much more from this administration."
"Just last weekend, the Castro regime was responsible for dozens of brutal arrests, including the re-arrest of at least one person on the Castro-Obama "list of 53." Shamefully, President Obama has made neither America's interest in a free and democratic Cuba, nor liberty for the Cuban people, a priority of his foreign policy agenda," Diaz-Balart said.
Secretary of State John Kerry will be on hand to raise the Stars and Stripes once again at the U.S. Embassy in Havana Friday, but Diaz-Balart say he's really raising something else.
"He might as well be raising the white flag of surrender," he said.
Cuban dissidents won't be invited to the flag raising, and Kerry plans to meet with them later.
"They form no role in this new relationship between the United States and Cuba, they are forgotten," Ros-Lehtinen said.