St. Augustine, FL – Rep. Ron DeSantis (FL-06), a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement in response to the exchange of American Alan Gross for three Cuban spies as well as reports that the Obama administration will be implementing pro-Castro policy changes:

"Alan Gross was unjustly imprisoned by the Castro dictatorship and his return is long overdue.  I am happy for him and his family.  I am dismayed that, in exchange for the release of Gross, the Obama administration agreed to release imprisoned Cuban spies who conspired to kill Americans, as such an action legitimizes the Castro regime's coercive tactics.  This prisoner swap sends a signal to rogue regimes and actors that taking an American hostage can be leveraged into scoring policy concessions.  This makes America less safe and emboldens the dictatorship in Cuba.   

Reports suggest that the Obama administration will also unilaterally relax sanctions on Cuba, even though 11 million Cubans still chafe under Castro's tyranny.  The goal of U.S. policy should be to liberate these hostages from the oppressive Castro regime, not to reward the regime with relaxed sanctions.”?