Read the Congressional hearings' official statements on Cuba

Congress is holding three hearings to discuss the impact that U.S. policy is having on human rights in Cuba


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Three days of congressional hearings intended to understand the implications of ongoing negotiations between the United States and Cuba were taking place in Washington, D.C. this week.

Below are some of the statements public officials read on the record during the House and Senate hearings. Lawmakers had an opportunity to question President Barack Obama's administration on the negotiations that began in secret under the auspices of Pope Francis.

Obama first met in public with Cuban President Raul Castro in 2013 during Nelson Mandela's funeral. After a meeting held at the Vatican, Obama said he talked to Castro on the phone to discuss the details of the releases of three Cuban spies held in the U.S. and the release of Alan Gross and 53 other political prisoners held in Cuba.

Lawmakers were concerned with the re-arrest and mistreatment of some of those political prisoners. Some lawmakers were also highly interested on the efforts made to re-establish an old extradition treaty that allows Cuba to harbor U.S. fugitives -- including rapper Tupac Shakur's aunt JoAnne Chesimard who is on the FBI's list of top 10 most wanted terrorists.

- Chairman: U.S. Rep. Ed Royce -

Watch or read his Feb. 4 opening statement >

- Chairwoman: U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Read her Feb. 4 statement and questions >

- Witness:  Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta S. Jacobson statement on Cuba

- Read her Feb. 4 opening statement >

- Read her Feb. 3 opening statement >

- Witness: Deputy Director of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control John E. Smith

- Read his opening statement >

- Witness:  Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Matthew S. Borman

- Read his opening statement >