Columnist Pat Buchanan defended President Obama’s prisoner swap with Cuba on Friday’s “McLaughlin Group,” although he gave a mixed opinion of the opening of economic ties with the country.
While Buchanan dismissed the notion that the embargo has had no positive achievements as “nonsense,” he added “I will say this, I think the president did a good deal on the prisoner exchange. I think he gave away too much, the recognition aspect, to the Cubans, which they’ve desperately wanted. Cuba is in desperate straits, the Russians don’t buy their sugar anymore, to the degree they did, they don’t get the oil, they’re not going to get it from Venezuela. So, they’re in desperate straits. And Raul’s coming to us. But, I will say this, he’s going to get investment, he might get tourist dollars and the rest of it, but he is taking a tremendous risk, when you get tens of thousands of tourists, travelers, American visitors, Cuban-Americans, and folks coming out of Cuba, a real risk with the survival of his dictatorship and his police state down the road.”
He later added it would be “very tough” for Cuba to keep its dictatorship intact with a flood of tourists and trade to the island, and that Nixon’s China policy resulted in “some change,” but also criticized Obama for engaging the government, not the people of Cuba.
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