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tv   [untitled]    March 12, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT

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yas are intimately involved in the back-and-forth negotiations. we also kept them informed but no one else was a direct participant besides the united states and north korea. >> in reading all the reports of that, it says they will allow inspection at i don't think yeonpyeong. other sites or is that clear? >> that's not clear yet. that was our principle objective. obviously we have to keep building on what was achieved. >> like others you deal with more than others, they are masters at the shell game. lastly iran. congratulations on the biting effect that the sanctions are finally grabbing them and taking effect to a tremendous extent.
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there seems to be a lot of indication that some of our allies one in particular interested in laying down markers rather than saying all options are on the table. i suppose that's going to get more play in coming days. what are the red lines the iranians cannot cross? are we going to make that public or are we going to continue to do quiet negotiations on that? >> i think it's probably smarter for us to be pressing on the sanctions and negotiations while we keep our objective of no new nuclear capability absolutely clear instead of other benchmarks at this time publicly. >> i want to thank you not strutting your stuff and delivering on the steak and not worrying about the sizzle.
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>> my colleague for florida, mr. rivera, wise man, staying around. '6 >> thank you. i learned from the best, you. madam secretary, thank you so much for being here today. as you know, recently we marked the 14th anniversary of the february 24th, 1996 shoot-down of the broth toers the rescue airplanes. as you know four americans were murdered over international airspace by the castro dictatorship. subsequent to those murders, the u.s. congress and then president clinton signed and passed into law the helms burton bill, which has never been fully implemented as you well know because of a provision that allows a waiver or suspension every six months to that law for implementation of that law. and that suspension i believe
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takes place around every january or february and midyear as well. we probably have just recently seen the obama administration suspend the helms burton law as it has been done twice a year since 1996. the rational allowed in the law for suspending implementation of the law is two-fold. number one, that it serves u.s. interest. and number two, that it would expedite a transition to democracy in cuba. given what we've seen during the last few years during the obama administration and what's occurring in cuba in terms of the wave of repression against human rights activists and dissidents. given the deaths of several hunger strikers, given the recent persecution against the ladies in white, peaceful activists in cuba that have been calling for democratic reform, given the stern rebuff that
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former secretary richardson received in cuba to his recent overtures or negotiations, can you tell us just in the last few years of the obama administration that the helms burton law has been suspended, how has that expedited a transition to democracy in cuba. >> congressman, we take a backseat of no one in our condemnation of the denial of human rights that is a continuing feature of the castro regime. the particular instances that you mentioned are ones of great concern to us. we do think increasing people to people contact, supporting civil society in cuba, enhancing the free flow of information, promoting the capacity for more independence economically and politically from the cuban
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authorities is in the interest of the cuban people and is in the interest of the united states. >> we may agree to disagree on that. i'm just wondering if there's any evidence of results as a result of that policy that the obama administration has been pursuing. do we have any evidence at all of any inkling of democratic reform or a movement towards democracy? is there anything positive that has resulted from the obama administration policy toward cuba that we have evidence, tangible evidence? >> well, in the last three years there have been considerable changes in cuba's economic policies, which we see as a positive development. we think having cuban people give more economic rights to open businesses, have an opportunity to pursue their own economic futures goes hand in hand with the promotion of democracy. i wouldn't claim our movements
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were a direct cause but they were incident with. very often in oppressive regimes like cuba, economic freedom precedes political freedom. >> you would agree if there has been economic freedom, and i dispute that, i don't believe there has really been genuine economic reforms in community, if you can agree there have been, we can disagree on that, there certainly have been no political reforms or move toward democracy notwithstanding the economic movement. >> despite our very strong objection to the treatment of alan gross, the, in our view totally unjustified charge and detention frngs a great number of political prisoners have been released. again, that in and of itself is not final evidence of anything. the fact that so many political prisoners have been released in the last few years -- >> are you aware those releases were required by expulsions from
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the country? they weren't released into the country. they were expelled from the country. >> i am aware of that, congressman. as i look out over the world and take a historic perspective, i see sometimes political prisoners are released and expelled where they continue to pursue their democracy work and advocacy on behalf of human rights outside the country. the fact is letting political prisoners go is a positive development. i wish they were inside cuba continuing to agitate and advocate for freedom and democracy, but their voices are still being heard especially in the new communications environment in which bloggers and others exist. >> i hope -- >> thank you, mr. rivera. >> thank you, madam chair. >> thank you, madam secretary. >> thank you, madam chair and secretary. i have a couple of written questions i want to submit for your consideration. madam secretary, this may be one
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of the last times together, so i want to publicly thank you for re-establishing america's influence abroad, especially toward the asia pacific region. as you aptly stated, and i quote, the future of politics will be decided in asia, not in afghanistan or iraq. and the united states will be right at the center of the action. thanks to your efforts, madam secretary, i believe the united states will be front and center, so i thank you for bucking tradition for your first trip overseas. on your first trip overseas you visited asia to convey a strong message that america's relationship across the asia pacific region are in dispensable, and in your many trips since then, cambodia, myanmar, south korea, japan and beyond you have been about the
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bitz of making and keeping strategic commitments that will pay dividends many times over. i applaud you for recognizing the importance of pacific island nations in this multifaceted undertaking and in the context of this hearing with the foreign relations budget hearing i reiterate what you stated and i quote, those who say we can no longer afford to engage with the world have it exactly backward. we cannot afford not to. from opening new markets for american businesses, to nuclear proliferation to keep sea lanes free from commerce and navigation, our work abroad holds the key to our prosperity and security at home, end of quote. i want to also note for the record, madam secretary, that when american samoa and the independent samoa were hit by the most powerful earthquake in 2009 and that set off waves of tsunami and to this day have not
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fully recovered, yet your office was among the first to stand with us. you fought to make sure supplies were airlifted to us and tireless efforts on behalf of those do not go unnoticed. i thank assistant secretary dave adams for his help in this regard. at my reqwest, madam secretary, you personally made it a point to visit my little district. on behalf of samoan men and women who proudly serve in the armed forces of our country, we are grateful for your recognition of their services. my people thank you for reremembering us and the many things you have done for the people of our nation. madam secretary, it has been a honor to serve with you. i commend you for the initiatives you have taken outlined in this budget submission for east asia and pacific region. i'm glad i still have a couple of seconds to ask you a couple of questions, madam secretary.
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can you reiterate for the record our fundamental policy of engagement with the peoples republic of china especially in reference to the crisis we're faced with at the south china seas? >> well, first, thank you for those very kind comments. it's a great honor to represent the people of your district and to reach out to the south pacific region on behalf of our government. we are working to further a positive cooperative and comprehensive relationship with china. we think that is in the interest of the american people both economically and strategically. we have welcomed the peaceful rise of china, and we expect as china continues to develop that it will assume more responsibilities globally. with respect to the south china sea, it has been our position that although we do not take any
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stand on the rights attached to any territorial claim, we strongly support the peaceful resolution of such claims in accordance with international law. that has been the position we have taken at asean at the east asia summit. because it's not only about the south china sea, which is as you know so well, a very important part of the world's oceans through which more than 40% of the world's trade passes. it's also about how we resolve disputes concerning territories in or near bodies of water, whether it's the arctic or south china sea. it's very important we stand for the rule of law and we stand for the peaceful resolution of any disputes. we've made that known to our friends in the region as well as china. >> thank you. madam secretary, lacking other
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members, mr. berman and i have agreed to share our five minutes with you, if that would be all right. >> thank you very much. >> i'm going to ask about the keystone pipeline so start the clock. >> i withdraw mine. >> as gas prices continue to soar, madam secretary, burdening the american people in this time of economic hardship, we must continue to examine avenues to depend less on foreign oil from rogue regimes. in october of 2010, you mention that you were, quote, inclined, end quote, to sign off on the keystone project because the u.s. will either be, quote, dependent on dirty oil from the gulf or dirty oil from canada, end quote. what was it about the pipeline that led to you change your previous assertion? can you please explain why an additional stable source of oil from a democratic ally such as canada does not deserve a national interest determination
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from the department of state? and mr. berman, if you would like to ask your question. >> a very specific question about syria. the security of chemical and possibly biological wrep upons in syria should the assad regime fall. how real is the danger of these horrific weapons and substances leaving syria and falling into the hands of terrorists and terrorist group what about nonluger program to dismantle chemical weapons and technology from syria. >> first with respect to keystone, what i said in 2010 was that energy security considerations exist and needed to be taken into account but that it had to be part of what is the legal and regulatory requirements for evaluating any pipeline application that crosses an international boundary. the state department was in the
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process of making such a determination. when it became necessary to make a decision, we did not recommend that the president say no, but rather that the presidential permit for the project at that time be denied. and with respect to the national interest, what we were working on was a resolution of the very strong concerns expressed by one of the states through which the pipeline would move, a state that at that time did not have its own process and needed to pass legislation, figure out what the alternative route would be, and then, of course, it fell upon the state department to evaluate the alternative route. that had not yet been established when we were required to make our decision. therefore, it was impossible to assess the impact of that new route that had been requested. >> thank you. >> now, just in the last two
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days, transcanada has made a move through a letter indicating their intent to submit a new application which crosses the u.s.-canada border. at the same time they are moving forward with parts of the pipeline, like from oklahoma to texas that don't cross the border and don't need state department evaluation or decision. so i think we've handled this, madam chairman in a way that was commensurate with the law and regulation. i strongly believe we have to increase our energy security. i strongly support the creation of a new energy bureau. just last week we signed an important agreement with mexico to encourage transboundary exploration in the gulf of mexico, something that was
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legally in limbo. we are committed to do what we can to get the supplies we need. >> thank you, madam secretary. now to syria. >> we are concerned. i think it is an issue that deserves the attention of the international community. non-lugar was in a permissive environment. it was after the soviet union had fallen. the new russian federation came into being. they welcomed our work with them as did kazakhstan, ukraine and other countries. at this time there is no permissive environment but we're going to stay focused on the potential dangers posed on the storehouse or depots of such welcome. >> the chairman of africa global health and human rights is recognized. >> thank you very much, madam secretary. let me associate myself with remarks on cuba.
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we had a hearing with a man who had a 25-year sentence. he's now out of prison but not out of prison. he spoke via telephone right here. the man is unbelievably brave. he's calling for freedom, human rights. we've got to be very hard lined, i believe but also prudent. i would hope -- gentle lady made an important point about not attending. i hope that will be the case. let me ask you about the pastor josef yad cam difficult. if you could speak to the iranians and the worlds, tlas rach elting up of persecution against christians that is unprecedenteded. i've held two hearings on the kidnapping of coptic christians girls kidnapped in islam and given to a man in egypt who happens to be muslim, it's outrageous.
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it's an act of trafficking, and's not an isolated incident. it's a serious, ongoing and pervasive human rights hearing. i held my first hearing on the global persecution of christians february 15, 1996. it was getting worse then. it is now awful. in china, north korea, we all know people are tortured to death simply because they are christians. if you could speak to that. i would like to ask you if you would in a very specific and yes or no answer might suffice, and i thank you for the briefing on bosnia and the work you're doing to bring bosnia into nato as well as the other countries in line, is there any instances, madam secretary, or instances where the obama administration has withheld or threatened to withhold or plans to withhold or use its voice and vote adding to national lending institutions to reward with debt relief or loans or to deny such or in any way
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provide a retaliatory means based on that nation's policies on abortion and based on that nation's support or opposition to resolutions at the u.n. regarding abortion? >> as to that second question, congressman, i'd like to take it for the record because it had so many parts to it. i don't want to give you an answer that's not as accurate as i can make it. i will certainly get back to you on that. as to the very troubling case of pastor nadarkhani, you are 100% right. his case is particularly egregious, but it is unfortunately part of what we see as increasing discrimination and persecution on the basis of religion. in some parts of the world it's sex of islam, in some parts of world is christians. wherever it occurs, it is deplorable against freedom of religion, against human rights that are universally recognized. the united states has condemned
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the sentence against pastor nadarkhani. we have pushed hard, reached out to like-minded countries to get a stay of execution to get him released from prison. he's done nothing more than maintain his faith. it is absolutely contrary to every element of the universal basis for human rights that someone like that would be condemned to death for being as he is, worshipping as he chooses, exercising his freedom of conscious. so we xaul on iran to honor its own constitutional commitment and its own obligations under international law. they could begin by commuting this death sentence and letting this man go free. >> if we could get back on the other question. we hear from ambassadors some fear they will lose aid if they
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don't back the u.s. position on abortion at the united nations. you're shaking your head no. i'm happy to hear that. if you could provide a definitive answer it would be helpful. you saw the spate of articles china is changing it's policy slogans on one child per couple policy . that's one yahoo! had and a whole spate of articles. i hope we would redouble our efforts to combat the one child policy. the fact there are so many missing girls. as we all know the estimates are in excess of 1 million exterminated simply because they happen to be girl. in 2050, i've had 38 hearings on human rights abuse in china by 2050 -- 2020, 40 to 50 men won't be able to find wives because they have been systematically eliminated. china is becoming and will increase as a trafficking magnet. i'm almost out of time. if you could strongly speak out
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against forced abortion and baby girls in china suffering immensely as are the mothers. >> thank you very much. mr. sherman, the ranking member on subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade is recognized. >> madam secretary, glad to have you back here. i want to join so many of my colleagues who praised work for our country and how much you've been able to do with 1% of the budget. i have lots to cover and would expect you want to respond for the record. interrupt me at any point if the spirit moves you. the first is to focus on the region of georgia. we've been very generous to the republic of georgia. javac is a region in georgia with a large ethnic armenian population. the embassy of georgia is now in
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support of the idea of the united states focusing a good chunk of its aid for georgia to the region. this would bind them to the republic of georgia and would help achieve our goals in the caucuses. last time you were here mentioned voice of america broadcasting in the sindhi language. this committee adopted my amendment june announce many to direct "the voice of america" to spend $1.5 million broadcasting. i'm not sure that bill will become law but does show the wisdom of the city. there are elements in the
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government in islamabad that want to impose the urdu language on the whole country. imposing on what was east bengal created as much as anything the independent republic of bangladesh. i would hope that in deciding whether to broadcast in the sindhi language we not try to accommodate the most extreme elements of islamabad. because right now we're broadcasting in urdu and sindhi is spoken by more people in pakistan. we have a complicated relationship with the pakistani government. we need to reach out to the pakistani people particularly those south of pakistan where the version of islam is so compatible with american values. i know i won't be the only person up here to talk about
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camp liberty and how important it is we assure the humanitarian safety of everyone who is there. there are certainly elements to how that camp has been set up that makes it look not -- almost like a prison camp. there are reports that the residents have no access to lawyers. their family no freedom of movement. obviously the iranian government is going to be pressing the iraqis to be as inhumane as possible to the residents of that camp. and i hope that we will be pressing on the other side. finally, and this is a pro pi shows day with regard to this issue, as you may know, there is the swift system which is the society for worldwide interbank
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financial telecommunications. there's an effort to exclude all iranian banks from that system. earlier today i had a chance to talk to chairman bernanke who represents us in the s.w.i.f.t. system and has a role in supervising that system. and he said that he didn't have a national security adviser over at the federal reserve and would want to hear from elements of a government that do focus on national security, where it is in our interest not just to exclude some iranian banks but all iranian banks from the sw.i.f.t. system. so perhaps you could respond here as to whether or not you would advise the chairman to do everything possible to exclude all iranian banks from the s.w.i.f.t. system.
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>> yes, we certainly would. we believe that using the sw.i.f.t. system is a very effective way of further isolating iran and the iranian flow of financial transactions. so we will engage with the federal reserve in terms of providing such information. and with respect to all of your other issues, congressman, we will get back to you in a timely manner. >> thank you. i hope your advice to bernanke will be all iranian banks and not just those sanctioned by the eu. >> thank you, mr. sherman. thank you, madam secretary. mr. burton, the chairman on your asia and europe is recognized. >> nice to see you again. i understand that today or yesterday there was an indication we would might up some kind of dialogue with north korea. i just checked, we gave north
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korea during the clinton administration over $1 billion in fuel and food aid as well as money we spent building their light water reactor. and of course they violated the agreement that they made. the only reason i bring that up, i hope that if we start a dialogue with them we realize their history is one of -- that you certainly can't trust. even though kim jong-il is gone and we have a new leader there, i think it's extremely important that the state department get everything written in blood, so to speak, to make sure we're not shafted again. recently stop tom donilan and the chairman of the joint chiefs went over to visit israel. the tone was, they were urging israel not to take any unilateral action as far as


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