Friday, November 20, 2015

Rubio pledges to undo Obama's Cuba thaw

Rubio pledges to undo Obama's Cuba thaw
By Mark Hensch

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says he would undo much of President Obama's
diplomacy with Cuba if elected president.

"Nothing was asked of Cuba," he said Thursday of the White House's
diplomatic thaw with the island nation earlier this year, according to
The Associated Press.

"We somehow ignore the fact that 90 miles from our shores is an
anti-American communist dictatorship that oppresses its people and sows
instability," Rubio added.
"We have a vested interest in ensuring there's stability on that island,
and you won't have it as long as it's a dictatorship," the GOP
presidential candidate continued. "People think it's because we're being
stubborn or holding onto old policies. I'm prepared to change strategies
with Cuba, but it has to be one that yields results."

Rubio said he would downgrade the Embassy of the United States opened in
Havana earlier this year if he wins the presidency, instead making the
facility a diplomatic interests section, which it was before the Obama

He also pledged to snap back into place restrictions on U.S. government
and business dealings with Cuba.

Rubio criticized American corporate interests for blindly rushing toward
Cuba's markets.

"American companies think that they want to invest in Cuba. They have no
idea what the terms are," he said. "The terms are, you don't own
anything. You can't go to Cuba and open a business and own it."

He also charged that Cuba's restrictive society presents an immediate
humanitarian concern for Americans.

"As long as they're an oppressive regime, people are going to get in
rafts and leave that island and come to the U.S.," the presidential
candidate said. "It's our Coast Guard that's going to have to go and
save their lives in those straits."

Rubio, whose parents fled Cuba's government before his birth, criticized
current U.S. policies on Cubans seeking refuge here.

"What I have criticized — and what I think makes no sense — is that we
allow people to come to this country on the Cuban Adjustment Act," he said.

"One year and a day after they've arrived, they're traveling to Cuba 15
times a year," Rubio continued. "The laws that exist are hard to justify

"When you have people who are coming and a year and a day later they are
traveling back to Cuba 15 times a year, 12 times, 10 times, 8 times,
that doesn't look like someone who is fleeing oppression."

The American Embassy in Havana began flying a U.S. flag over its
facilities for the first time in 54 years last August.

Obama announced he would begin restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba late
last year following decades of tension during the Cold War.

Source: Rubio pledges to undo Obama's Cuba thaw | TheHill -

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