Boehner’s Speech Guests Include Cuban Resistance Leader
By KRISTINA PETERSON
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) will host Cuban resistance leader
Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, known as Antunez, among his guests at Tuesday
night’s State of the Union address.
Guests connected to Cuba, with whom the U.S. is easing trade and travel
rules for the first time in 50 years, received some of the most
high-profile invitations this year to attend the president’s Tuesday
night address before Congress.
Prominent Republicans have divided over President Barack Obama’s recent
move to ease travel and trade restrictions with the island. Mr. Boehner,
along with Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and other Cuban-American
lawmakers, have criticized the administration’s steps to normalize
relations, while Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) has backed the president’s
Mr. Rubio has also invited a figure connected to the Cuban resistance to
Tuesday night’s speech: Rosa Maria Payá, the daughter of slain Cuban
activist Oswaldo Payá.
Alan and Judy Gross will join First Lady Michelle Obama in the box she
shares with Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife, the White House
announced Monday. Mr. Gross is the veteran international development
worker freed last month after spending five years in a Cuban jail.
Antunez, the Cuban dissident who will watch Tuesday night’s speech in
Mr. Boehner’s box, spent more than 17 years in a Cuban jail, according
to the speaker’s office. Also attending will be Antunez’s wife.
Mr. Boehner’s other guests include Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop
of Washington, and students and faculty of the Consortium of Catholic
Academies, a nonprofit organization supporting inner-city Catholic
elementary schools in Washington.
The top House Republican will also host a group of families and
businessmen from his Ohio district north of Cincinnati, including Aaron
and Betsy Ward, owners of A&B Cake and Coffee Company in Greenville;
Jamie McGregor, owner of McGregor Metal Working in Springfield; Fritz
Borke, president and chief executive of Borke Molds in West Chester; and
Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State Community College in
“Speaker Boehner’s guests highlight the people and issues too often
forgotten by the Obama administration, including his own constituents in
Ohio, who are struggling with rising costs — especially for health
care–and stagnant wages” as well as “students trapped by bureaucracy in
failing schools, and victims of the continuing tyranny on Cuba,” said
Michael Steel, a spokesman for Mr. Boehner.
Source: Boehner’s Speech Guests Include Cuban Resistance Leader –
Washington Wire – WSJ –