Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Boehner’s Speech Guests Include Cuban Resistance Leader

    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
    decision.

    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
    Clark County.

    “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 –
    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2015/01/19/boehners-speech-guests-include-cuban-resistance-leader/