Rubio: Clinton making ‘grave mistake’ on Cuba
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is taking a preemptive strike against Hillary Clinton, calling her expected decision to back lifting the Cuba embargo a “grave mistake.”
“After Secretary Clinton’s failed ‘reset’ with Putin, now she wants to do a ‘reset’ with Castro. She is making another grave mistake,” Rubio, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, said in a statement.
“President Obama and Secretary Clinton must learn that appeasement only emboldens dictators and repressive governments, and weakens America’s global standing in the 21st century.”
Rubio’s comments come after the Clinton campaign said Wednesday that she would speak at the Florida International University in Miami on Friday and call on Congress to lift the decades-old embargo.
During the campaign stop she’s expected to “highlight that Republican arguments against increased engagement are part of failed policies of the past and contend that we must look to the future in order to advance a core set of values and interests to engage with Cubans and address human rights abuses,” according to the campaign.
Congressional Republicans, and some Democrats, have criticized the administration’s decision to reopen the U.S. embassy in Havana, and pledged to block any ambassadorial nomination from President Obama.
The Obama administration also wants Congress to lift an embargo; something Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has suggested is unlikely to happen.
“I think the administration will have a hard time getting those removed. This is a policy that there is substantial opposition to in Congress,” he told “Fox News Sunday” earlier this month.
Rubio and other Republican presidential contenders have pledged to close the embassy in Cuba, as well as roll back the restoration of diplomatic relations with the country, if they are elected to the White House.
The Florida Republican doubled down on his opposition to the administration’s policy Wednesday, saying that “as president, I will stand with the Cuban people and only support an end to the embargo that is accompanied by real democratic reform.”