Joe Biden Tells Miami TV Station He Would Bring Back Obama’s Cuba Policy

Cuban President Raul Castro, right, lifts up the arm of President Barack Obama at the conclusion of their joint news conference at the Palace of the Revolution, Monday, March 21, 2016, in Havana, Cuba.
AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

Former Vice President Joe Biden told Miami-area CBS 4 on Monday evening that he would restore President Barack Obama’s policy of “engagement’ with the communist regime in Cuba.

Last month, Biden slammed then-rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for praising the Cuban regime — an attack amplified by the media in the days that followed Sanders’s stunning victory in Nevada, which put the “democratic socialist” in a position to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

Now, however, Biden has backtracked — and is fully on board with the policy of “normalization” he supported under Obama.

From CBS 4:

Regarding Cuba, Biden said he would restore the Obama policy of engagement.

“Yes, I would. In large part, I would go back,” Biden said. “I’d still insist they keep the commitments they said they would make when we, in fact, set the policy in place.”

Wouldn’t he be rewarding Cuba at a time when they are supporting and propping up Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela?

“Well, they’re having great difficulty propping up Maduro,” he said. “Number one, Maduro is in real trouble. Number two, there’s no reason why we cannot still sanction them, but failing to recognize them at all is a different thing than sanctioning them.”

He said engaging with Cuba isn’t just about Cuba, it also strengthens the United States’ hand throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Obama’s policy “normalized” relations with the Castro regime and saw embassies re-opened in Havana and Washington, DC. However, it did not lead to any change in the regime’s behavior toward political dissidents or its intervention in the region.

Cuban dissidents regard the Obama administration’s policy as a “disaster” that actually increased the regime’s repression.

The Trump administration has not closed the embassies, but has ended many of the travel and “exchange” programs with Cuba, and has slapped new sanctions on Cuba for its human rights abuses and its support of the Venezuelan regime.

Florida, a key swing state in presidential elections, is home to many immigrants from Cuba and from Venezuela, and the Obama administration’s policies toward both regimes have been unpopular among local voters.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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