Rubio Vows to Block Obama’s Cuba Ambassador Nominee

Marco Rubio
AP Photo/Molly Riley

With President Obama taking Cuba off the State Department’s State Sponsors of Terrorism List, could Iran be the next terrorist state to benefit from the President’s generosity?

Probably not, but stranger things have happened, like Fidel and Raul Castro having the label of terrorists be lifted off their heads.

Only Iran, Sudan and Syria remain on U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism List.

The loudest voice of opposition to Obama’s move to “normalize” relations with communist Cuba is none other than Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Rubio penned a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry pressing him to “prioritize actions in four key areas” during the ongoing “normalizations of relations” between the Castro brothers and the U.S.

Rubio threatened that if these four areas were not addressed, he would oppose any conformation of any nominee to be the U.S. ambassador to Cuba.

The four key areas:

  • Concrete results on political reforms and human rights
  • The repatriation of U.S. terrorists and fugitives being harbored in Cuba
  • The removal of restrictions on U.S. diplomats in Cuba
  • Resolving uncompensated property claims

Rubio has recently stated that he would look to block funding for a “fake embassy” in Cuba, as well as

Here are excerpts of Rubio’s letter to Secretary John Kerry, who recently fell of his bicycle and broke a leg.

“Despite more than five months of discussions with the Cuban government, I am very concerned about the lack of political reforms, and progress on human rights; the continued harboring of known terrorists and other fugitives from U.S. justice; the outstanding American property claims and judgments against the Cuban government; and the limitations that continue to be placed on American diplomats working in Havana,” wrote Rubio. “By conditioning any normalization of relations with Cuba on these topics and other areas, the U.S. can leverage the prospect of improved bilateral relations to obtain tangible benefits for both the American and Cuban peoples.

“It is important for the United States to continue being a beacon of freedom for the Cuban people,” Rubio continued. “I intend to work with my colleagues to block the Administration’s efforts to pursue diplomatic relations with Cuba and name an Ambassador to Havana until substantive progress is made on these important issues.”

Read Rubio’s letter to Kerry here.