Sen. Marco Rubio warned today in Miami of the risk of having an island that supports Russian President Vladimir Putin near an audience of US Republican congressmen. on the “failure” of “normalization” with Cuba.
“It is not in our national interest to have a dictatorial anti-Israeli, anti-US, pro-Iranian and pro-Putin regime 90 miles (about 150 kilometers) from our shores,” said the Cuban-American senator from Florida.
Rubio was accompanied by Cuban-American representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Díaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo, who also opposed at the time the process of normalization that the then US president undertook in December 2014. Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart, Raúl Castro.
Ros-Lehtinen emphasized the “danger of legitimizing regimes like those of Cuba and Venezuela, which do not respect the law or freedom.”
“I think the opening with Cuba required the Obama administration to keep silent or turn a blind eye to a series of human rights issues so as not to endanger their big business as they saw it,” Rubio said.
The “field audience,” which took place at Miami-Dade College, was also attended by Florida Republican congressmen Ron DeSantis and Ted Yoho.
Rubio was in favor of the “new approach” to Cuba of President Donald Trump and of being part along with other Cuban-American congressmen, like Díaz-Balart, of that process.
He recalled that according to Trump’s new guidelines, Americans who now travel to Cuba will be able to do business with them, “but not with the Cuban army.”
He assured that this prevents the Cuban Army, through its companies, from creating absolute control over the Cuban economy, which not only benefits them personally, but also serves to strengthen their control of power.
Similarly, he stressed that the new policy places independent Cubans in a privileged position against the US government.
The audience, titled, “Obama’s approach to the Castro regime: the anatomy of a political failure,” explored the “dangers of normalizing relations with Cuba.”
The meeting also analyzed “the brutality of Castro’s oppressive regime and his support for Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro,” Rubio said in a statement.
“Think of what our hemisphere would be like today if there were no Castro regime, there would not be Maduro in Venezuela and there would not be 24 Americans seriously injured as a result of some kind of (sonic) attack while they were being set up in Havana,” Rubio said.
Last week, Rubio presided over a Senate hearing and pressured the State Department on his response to attacks on US diplomats in Cuba.
Rubio said that it is not possible for “sophisticated attacks” to occur against US government officials in Havana without the Cuban government knowing about it. (efeusa)