MIAMI — A congresswoman says a video clip showing her calling for Fidel Castro’s assassination is fake, a charge denied Sunday by the film’s director.
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Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., appears in the 28-second clip made available on the Internet by the makers of a new British documentary, “638 Ways to Kill Castro.”
In it, she says: “I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro and any leader who is oppressing the people.”
However, the Havana-born lawmaker, recently tapped to become the top Republican on the House International Relations Committee, says the filmmakers spliced clips together to make the sound bite.
“It’s twisted in a way that gives the viewer a totally wrong impression,” Ros-Lehtinen told The Miami Herald. “I’ve said the community has moved on, that those strategies are not being used today, but apparently the filmmakers think we’re still in a ’60s mentality.”
Still, she said it was possible she has, at some point, mentioned Castro’s potential assassination.
“If someone were to do it, I wouldn’t be crying,” she said.
The film’s director, Dolan Cannell, stood by the authenticity of the footage.
“I can assure you categorically and completely that there has been no distortion of what she said,” Cannell told The Associated Press on Sunday.
Ros-Lehtinen said she has seen the documentary and the final cut does not include that video clip. However, the documentary’s Web site — http://www.638waystokillcastro.com/ — has a link to the clip.
The congresswoman said she’s not shy about wanting Castro dead.
“No one advocates assassination,” she said. “What we are advocating for is free elections, freedom for political prisoners, free expression of ideas and respect for human rights. That’s how you get change in Cuba. Not assassination.”
Jane Saunders, a spokeswoman for the British filmmakers, did not immediately respond to a call Sunday seeking comment.
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