Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) was unceremoniously tossed out of a committee hearing by Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) on Thursday — after voicing her opinion on the relationship (or lack thereof) between the United States and Cuba.
“I was just kicked out of a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on Cuba police because the Republican Chair didn’t like my views,” posted the California Congresswoman on X, later adding, “By taking this action the Chair is conducting the same silencing of alternative voices that occurs under undemocratic regimes & authoritarians like Trump.”
During the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, which was chaired by Rep. Salazar — Rep. Lee spoke in favor of restoring diplomatic relations between the United States and Cub. The Republican Congresswoman accused Rep. Lee of spreading of spreading “communist propoganda” and kicked her out.
As she was being asked to leave, Lee criticized Rep. Salazar for perpetuating the same authoritarian policies she criticized the Cuban government for. “I am an African American woman with a point of view,” said Rep. Lee. “We’re in a democracy those points of views are allowed. And you are doing exactly what you say the Cuban government is.”
Things went even further on social media. Rep. Salazar called the political veteran a “communist sympathizer” and accused her of being friends with Fidel Castro. Rep. Salazar also said that since Rep. Lee was not a member of the committee she had a right to kick her out for her “disruption.”
Congresswoman Lee has long advocated for a ending the embargo between the United States and Cuba, similar to the process that took place under former President Barack Obama. Being the odd one out on an issue isn’t new territory for the California Congresswoman — who was the lone vote against the war in Afghanistan.
Last year, after two Black Tennessee lawmakers were booted from office by the GOP and then brought back by voters — Tennessee Republicans changed the rules in order to kick them out of the chamber.