Imagine my huge surprise that two leading Florida politicians, both Republicans, would be critical of President Obama’s decision to begin normalizing relations with Cuba.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, whose parent fled Cuba to the United States, and former Gov. Jeb Bush, a probable candidate for president in 2016, both have come out against the president’s plan.
I get it. Really, I do.
They’re appealing to their home state political base, which includes a seriously anti-communist Cuban-American community that cannot stomach the thought of their communist former homeland getting any kind of overture from the United States.
OK, I’m just kidding about the surprise.
Obama is going to hear more angst from other Republicans. Some of them are going to openly oppose any effort to end the economic embargo because they, too, are afraid of the party’s base.
The effort got kick started when Cuba released Alan Gross from five years of wrongful imprisonment. In return, the United States sent three Cuban prisoners back to the island nation.
Given that Cuba poses zero threat militarily to the United States and that regular, run-of-the-mill Cubans deserve a chance to see their country improve its economic standing when the U.S. embargo is lifted, the decision seemed prudent and compassionate.
Yet some in Congress only heard part of the president’s remarks today. He said he intends to keep pressuring the Cubans to improve human rights and that the Havana government must allow people to express themselves freely. Did I hear the president correctly on that? I believe so.
Why didn’t Rubio and Bush hear it? Oh, that’s right. One is a probable candidate for president and the other, Rubio, might jump in, too.
An upcoming political campaign appears to be hard on politicians’ hearing.
2 thoughts on “No surprise at GOP balking over Cuba proposal”
Rubio’s parents may have come from Cuba, but they didn’t exactly flee the Castro regime. In fact, they left a few years before:
The timing of their departure from Cuba became an issue in Rubio’s Senate campaign as I recall. He had implied they fled Castro’s regime, but left prior to that.
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