Marco Rubio to send Obama a message with SOTU guest

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will bring as his guest to the State of the Union address the daughter of a Cuban political activist who was killed in a car crash that was allegedly caused by the Cuban government. Rosa Maria Paya will be Rubio’s guest when President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address at the House gallery Tuesday night. Meanwhile, First Lady Michelle Obama will bring Alan Gross, an American sub-contractor who was imprisoned in Cuba for five years, as one of her guests. SEE ALSO: US loosens embargo on Cuba, making trade and travel easier Paya’s father, Oswaldo Paya, attracted international attention for his efforts to collect tens of thousands of signatures for a petition known as the Varela Project, which called for democratic political reforms within Cuba. He died in a car accident in Cuba nearly three years ago. His daughter and others allege that Cuban government officials deliberately caused the accident. “All Oswaldo Paya wanted was a better future for Cuba and the Cuban people, and the Castro regime assassinated him for it,” Rubio said in a statement. The Cuban-American Florida senator added that he expects Obama will address his administration’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba during his State of the Union address. He said he hopes to send a message to Obama by bringing Rosa Maria Payar as his guest. “While I disagree with the president’s new Cuba policy, I hope Rosa Maria Paya’s presence on Tuesday night will at least remind him that her father’s murderers have not been brought to justice, and that the U.S. is now, in fact, sitting at the table with them,” Rubio said in a statement. Since her father’s murder, Rosa Maria Paya has been advocating for a free and democratic Cuba. She has also been involved in efforts to find out what exactly happened in the car crash involving her father and activist Harold Cepero, who also died in the car crash. SEE ALSO: Will Obama mention Cuba in State of the Union speech? The Cuban government has denied requests for an independent investigation, raising suspicion. Rubio said the Obama administration should “at the very least” call on the Castro regime to allow “an impartial, third party investigation” into the car crash as the United States moves to ease trade and travel restrictions to Cuba.The post Marco Rubio to send Obama a message with SOTU guest appeared first on Voxxi.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) reacts to President Obama’s announcement about revising policies on U.S.-Cuba relations on December 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. Rubio called the president a bad negotiator and criticized what he claimed was a deal with no democratic advances for Cuba. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will bring as his guest to the State of the Union address the daughter of a Cuban political activist who was killed in a car crash that was allegedly caused by the Cuban government.

Rosa Maria Paya will be Rubio’s guest when President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address at the House gallery Tuesday night. Meanwhile, First Lady Michelle Obama will bring Alan Gross, an American sub-contractor who was imprisoned in Cuba for five years, as one of her guests.

SEE ALSO: US loosens embargo on Cuba, making trade and travel easier

Paya’s father, Oswaldo Paya, attracted international attention for his efforts to collect tens of thousands of signatures for a petition known as the Varela Project, which called for democratic political reforms within Cuba. He died in a car accident in Cuba nearly three years ago. His daughter and others allege that Cuban government officials deliberately caused the accident.

Rosa Maria Paya answers questions about her father at a meeting with the Miami Herald Editorial Board, April 15, 2013, in Miami, Florida. (C.M. Guerrero/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)
Rosa Maria Paya will be Sen. Marco Rubio’s guests at the State of the Union. (C.M. Guerrero/Miami Herald/MCT via Getty Images)

“All Oswaldo Paya wanted was a better future for Cuba and the Cuban people, and the Castro regime assassinated him for it,” Rubio said in a statement.

The Cuban-American Florida senator added that he expects Obama will address his administration’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba during his State of the Union address. He said he hopes to send a message to Obama by bringing Rosa Maria Payar as his guest.

“While I disagree with the president’s new Cuba policy, I hope Rosa Maria Paya’s presence on Tuesday night will at least remind him that her father’s murderers have not been brought to justice, and that the U.S. is now, in fact, sitting at the table with them,” Rubio said in a statement.

Since her father’s murder, Rosa Maria Paya has been advocating for a free and democratic Cuba. She has also been involved in efforts to find out what exactly happened in the car crash involving her father and activist Harold Cepero, who also died in the car crash.

SEE ALSO: Will Obama mention Cuba in State of the Union speech?

The Cuban government has denied requests for an independent investigation, raising suspicion.

Rubio said the Obama administration should “at the very least” call on the Castro regime to allow “an impartial, third party investigation” into the car crash as the United States moves to ease trade and travel restrictions to Cuba.

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The post Marco Rubio to send Obama a message with SOTU guest appeared first on Voxxi.