The following letter was sent today by the Hon. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,
Member of Congress to Mr. David Hinson, Administrator - Federal
Mr. David Hinson
Federal Aviation Administration
400 Seventh Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20590
Dear Mr. Hinson:
I urge you to reconsider your decision to revoke the Commercial Pilot certificate of Jose Basulto, president of the humanitarian organization, Brothers to the Rescue. The only effect that this decision will have is to deteriorate the living conditions of the hundreds of Cuban refugees for whom Mr. Basulto and Brothers to the Rescue provide much needed food and other supplies.
Mr. Basulto and Brothers to the Rescue have unselfishly used their pilots' licenses to help save thousands of refugees who would have otherwise perished in the waters of the Caribbean. It is of great concern that your reasons to revoke Mr. Basulto's license appear to help the totalitarian regime of Cuba in its battle to silence the attempts by Brothers to the Rescue to help bring freedom and democracy to Cuba. Mr. Basulto and his group have never embarked on violent action against the Cuban tyranny, but have always resorted to peaceful means to increase the awareness of the international community about the repression against the Cuban people.
Contrary to what your letter states, your decision does not address the public interest nor the safety of air commerce or air transportation. It was the Cuban regime, not Brothers to the Rescue, who shot down US civilian aircraft over international waters. It was the Cuban regime, who last July 13th, 1995, rammed US civilian boats while on a peaceful demonstration - an attack which was prevented from deteriorating by actions taken by Brothers to the Rescue pilots.
I urge you to reconsider this decision and hope that you will reinstate Mr. Basulto's Commercial Pilot certificate.
Member of Congress
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