WASHINGTON (CBSMiami.com) – The U.S. awoke Thursday to breaking news of the death of Muammar Qaddafi. It's sparked celebrations in Libya and is being lauded by South Florida politicians.
U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Thursday that Qaddafi's death, "marks a critical moment for the Libyan people to turn their nation away from its grim past as a rogue state and toward a future of freedom marked by alliances with the United States, Israel, European democracies, and other responsible nations."
"The Libyan people must seize this opportunity to realize their democratic aspirations and not squander it through factional fighting over the political spoils," Ros-Lehtinen continued. "The new leaders must demonstrate a commitment to working with the U.S., and to securing control over dangerous weapons and rooting out extremist groups."
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also said that the "death marks the end of an era of terror and oppression in Libya."
"I thank all of the brave men and women who have dedicated themselves to this mission over the last eight month, and I am grateful to President Obama for his leadership, demonstrating once again that the United States stood with people fighting to cast off tyranny."
Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio also praised the death of Qaddafi Thursday afternoon.
"Justice has been done today," Rubio said. "Gaddafi (sic) has now joined the list of failed and disgraced tyrants that have faced justice from their own people."
Rubio also said he was "impressed with the tenacity of the Libyan people in reclaiming their freedoms and honor the service of American and NATO forces that courageously assisted on this endeavor."
"Muammar Qaddafi was a brutal dictator and I'm glad to see him gone," Representative Alcee Hastings wrote. "After forty-two years of repression and violence, justice has finally been served."
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