Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has slammed President Obama for not visiting the American service members stationed at Guantanamo Bay during his coming trip to Cuba.
“It is disgraceful that President Obama will make time to meet the Communist dictator Raul Castro on his ill-advised trip to Cuba next month–but has no time to visit with the service men and women currently serving our nation at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station,” Sen. Cruz told Breitbart News:
On Thursday, Breitbart News confirmed with high-level sources that President Obama would not visit the American troops stationed at U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, where thousands are serving their country on the island’s southeast. He is scheduled to meet with the Cuban regime from March 21-22.
Obama has not once been to Guantanamo Bay during his presidency. He has often called for the closing of the detention camp situated there, where U.S. Army National Guard soldiers keep watch over jihadist enemy combatants.
“Perhaps someone on his staff should remind Mr. Obama that he is still Commander in Chief of the United States of America,” Cruz said.
The Texas Senator and Republican presidential candidate also weighed in on the possibility that the Obama administration would ignite discussions over the status of the naval base.
“I am also concerned by Ben Rhodes’ suggestion that the American delegation is going to discuss the ongoing status of GTMO with the Castros. GTMO should be off the table,” he told Breitbart News.
“It has been a key strategic asset for the American military for over a century. Of course the Castros, who remain virulently anti-American and determined to do us harm, want to deprive us of this asset,” Cruz said. “But what is truly remarkable is that President Obama would travel to Havana to negotiate away a counter-terrorism facility we need more than ever after more than seven years of his failed ‘countering violent extremism’ policy.”
In 1903, the government of Cuba signed a lease with the United States that allowed for America to use the land at Guantanamo Bay as a naval base. The lease can only be terminated only if both parties agree to do so. Therefore, for it to be returned to Cuba, President Obama would have to unilaterally sign away the base to the Castro regime.