Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Republican platform doesn't abandon Cuba after all

Republican platform doesn't abandon Cuba after all
By Paul West
August 20, 2012, 6:06 p.m.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Cuban Americans can relax. The 2012 Republican platform
will continue the party's hard-line rhetoric toward the Communist regime
in Cuba, though it does not call for reversing President Obama's
decision to relax restrictions on travel and financial assistance to
residents of the island.

An earlier Politics Now post stated incorrectly that the GOP platform
was silent on Cuba. A delegate on the party platform's foreign policy
and defense subcommittee, who had a copy of the pertinent language,
expressed surprise during a drafting session on the plank Monday that
Cuba wasn't mentioned. A GOP aide with access to the platform confirmed
that the foreign policy portion section did not mention Cuba.

The actual text of this year's GOP platform draft is a closely held
document, crafted under the control of the Mitt Romney campaign.

The draft planks were distributed to the platform delegates -- on paper
only, not digitally -- making it much more difficult for copies to
circulate surreptitiously to reporters or to interest groups that might
want to criticize.

But after the Politics Now post stirred up a swarm of concern,
particularly in south Florida, the campaign agreed to provide the
platform language about Cuba, some of it directly lifted from the 2008

Four years ago, the platform stated that the Republicans "support
restrictions on trade with, and travel to, Cuba." The 2012 version also
contains language that points in that direction.

But there is no specific call to tighten the president's loosening of
restrictions, which made it easier for Cuban Americans to visit
relatives on the island and send them money, and has been popular with
some Latino voters.

Here is the language on Cuba, as released Monday night by the Romney

"Alternatively, we will stand with the true democracies of the region
against both Marxist subversion and the drug lords, helping them to
become prosperous alternatives to the collapsing model of Venezuela and

"We affirm our friendship with the people of Cuba and look toward their
reunion with the rest of our hemispheric family. The anachronistic
regime in Havana which rules them is a mummified relic of the age of
totalitarianism, a state-sponsor of terrorism. We reject any dynastic
succession of power within the Castro family and affirm the principles
codified in U.S. law as conditions for the lifting of trade, travel, and
financial sanctions: the legalization of political parties, an
independent media, and free and fair internationally-supervised
elections. We renew our commitment to Cuba's courageous pro-democracy
movement as the protagonists of Cuba's inevitable liberation and
democratic future. We call for a dedicated platform for the transmission
of Radio and TV Marti and for the promotion of Internet access and
circumvention technology as tools to strengthen the pro-democracy
movement. We support the work of the Commission for Assistance to a Free
Cuba and affirm the principles of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966,
recognizing the rights of Cubans fleeing Communism."



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