MIAMI, Florida — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has harsh words of criticism for the man he seeks to replace, after the Obama administration announced that it was removing Cuba from the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
As Breitbart News’ Frances Martel reported, Obama made this decision despite the Castro regime’s support for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist terrorist group, and the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah. Cuba has also shielded from extradition Assata Shakur, who the FBI put on the Top Ten Most Wanted Terrorists List for her role in the killing of a New Jersey State Trooper, as Breitbart Texas reported.
Rubio released two video statements, in both English and Spanish. In the videos, Rubio says that Obama’s decision “is a terrible one, but not surprising unfortunately.” The Senator flat out declares that Cuba is a State Sponsor of Terrorism, mentioning the Shakur case and Cuba’s support of North Korea’s evasions of UN weapons sanctions.
Cuba “should have remained on the list of state sponsors of terrorism,” said Rubio, the day after he announced he was running for President, “and I think sends a chilling message to our enemies aboard that this White House is no longer serious about calling terrorism by its proper name.”
Rubio currently serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chairing the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues. He has been one of Obama’s harshest critics on foreign policy, especially on the issue of Cuba, where both of his parents were born. In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News before his presidential announcement, Rubio called it “ridiculous” that Obama was considering taking Cuba of the Sponsors of Terrorism list.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who shares Rubio’s Cuban heritage, also released a statement condemning the Obama administration’s move on Cuba, as Breitbart News reported. “Cuba must prove it is willing to change its behavior before the United States takes a single action to remove it from the list of state sponsors of terror,” said Cruz.
Full transcript of Sen. Rubio’s remarks in English:
Well, the decision made by the White House today is a terrible one, but not surprising unfortunately. Cuba is a state sponsor of terrorism. They harbor fugitives of American justice, including someone who killed a police officer in New Jersey over 30 years ago. It’s also the country that’s helping North Korea evade weapons sanctions by the United Nations. They should have remained on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, and I think sends a chilling message to our enemies aboard that this White House is no longer serious about calling terrorism by its proper name.
Transcript of Sen. Rubio’s remarks in Spanish:
La decisión de la Casa Blanca es lamentable, pero no me sorprende. Cuba, sin duda, es un país que apoya el terrorismo. Tienen fugitivos de la justicia americana viviendo en el país, personas que se han robado dinero de Medicare, incluso a alguien que asesinó un policía en los Estados Unidos hace treinta años, y por otra parte, el país que ha ayudado a Corea del Norte evadir sanciones internacionales en contra de ese país terrorista. Desafortunadamente esta decisión de la Casa Blanca va a mandar un mensaje muy peligroso a los enemigos y a los terroristas.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.