Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) criticized President Obama for swapping three Cuban spies for imprisoned American Alan Gross on Wednesday’s “America’s Newsroom” on the Fox News Channel, calling President Obama the “worst negotiator” since Jimmy Carter.
Rubio stated the swap “does set a very dangerous precedent, it puts a price on every American abroad, governments now know that if they can take an American hostage, they can get very significant concessions from the United States.”
He also predicted, “my interest in Cuba has always been the furthering of democracy and freedom…nothing the president will announce today is going to further that goal. And it’s ironic that a week after we imposed sanctions on human rights violators in Venezuela we’re lifting sanctions on a government that has taught the Venezuelans how to commit these human rights violations, it’s absurd, and it’s part of a long record of coddling dictators and tyrants that this administration has established.”
Rubio further pointed to lack of democratic concessions by Cuba, and declared it “absurd” that allowing greater travel and money to the island would help the cause of democracy in Cuba. And also accused the Obama administration for giving large concessions to Cuba for “symbolic” actions, dubbing Obama’s foreign policy “at a minimum naive, and perhaps even truly, truly, counterproductive to the future of democracy in the region,” and calling him at least the “worst negotiator” since Jimmy Carter.
He concluded by predicting that the released spies would receive “a hero’s welcome” back in Cuba.
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