“It is a lifeline for the Castro regime that will allow them to become more profitable … and allow them to become a more permanent fixture. The embargo is leverage, these sanctions are leverage.”–Sen. Marco Rubio
“The 50-year embargo with Cuba just hasn’t worked. “If the goal is regime change, it sure doesn’t seem to be working and probably it punishes the people more than the regime because the regime can blame the embargo for hardship.“–Sen. Rand Paul
Sen. Marco Rubio criticized Sen. Rand Paul last Thursday night for his support for the Obama administration’s decision to normalize relations with Cuba. “Like many people that have been opining, he has no idea what he’s talking about,” Rubio reportedly said on Fox News.” “Appeasing the Castro brothers will only cause other tyrants from Caracas to Tehran to Pyongyang to see that they can take advantage of President Obama’s naivete during his final two years in office,” Mr Rubio reportedly said. Rubio’s views amount to a new domino theory.
Senator Lindsey Graham reportedly said he would be among those trying to pass legislation to undercut funding for policy changes, including setting up an embassy. Rubio threatened to block the appointment of an ambassador.
But libertarian Justin Amash (R-MI) wrote:
The power of free expression, free movement, and free markets is much more likely to advance Cuba toward freedom than the failed policy of isolation. An isolationist foreign policy that blocks trade and restricts travel between our country and Cuba hasn’t made our neighbor free or democratic. And the United States’ half-century embargo hasn’t brought down the Castro regime.
I support the announced shift from isolationism to a more pragmatic engagement with Cuba. The Cuban people have the right to govern themselves and deserve to live in a country that is ruled by law, not the whim of a dictator. We can more readily help Cubans establish liberty through policies that open dialogue, travel, and trade.
Cuba policy is yet another issue on which Republicans are badly divided. As yet, I have not seen that Rep. Reed has expressed an opinion.
© William Hungerford – December 2014