Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ-8) told The Star Ledger that Cuban government could be out to smear Senator Bob Menendez’s good name.
“I won’t even be surprised if somehow the Cuban government is involved in this to try to damage Bob Menendez because he’s been so steadfast against the Castro government. He’s been a critic all his political life,” Sires said in a phone interview. “I would not be surprised if they are behind some of this stuff, some of these allegations. The Dominican Republic has a lot of relationships with Cuba.”
Hmmm. I wonder how Castro tricked Menendez into getting onto Salomon Malgen’s private plane. The Cuban spys must have put something in the senator’s cigar to make him forget to report the flights for two years.
As the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee for the Western Hemisphere, Sires is in the perfect position to get to the bottom of this and clear his friend Menendez’s name. I’m sure the committee chairman, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), would be very interested in conducting a hearing into how the Cuban government is interfering in the business of the United States Senate.
While they’re at it, they should also investigate Dominican port security.
The New York Times reported yesterday that Malgen, Menendez’s friend and campaign contributor whose Florida office was raided by the FBI this week, is an owner of a DR port security firm. Dominican officials have been resisting honoring their contract with the firm. Menendez has intervened with the State Department to try to get the $50 million contract honored.
Aides acknowledged on Wednesday that Mr. Menendez had spoken to State Department officials about the contract. And at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere last July, he questioned two administration officials — Francisco J. Sánchez, the undersecretary for international trade at the Commerce Department, and Matthew Rooney, the deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs for the State Department — about why the United States government had not been more aggressive on the issue. The senator said more security was needed given the drug trade on the island.
Maybe Cuba is trying to smuggle drugs, rum, sugar,cigars and teen aged girls into the United States through the Dominican Republic and have paid off the DR customs officials to stop the cargo from being screened by Malgen’s company.
Sires should get to the bottom of this. He has the power.