Sen. Marco Rubio is expressing concern and frustration with the Obama administration’s plans to restore relations with Cuba.
“Today’s announcement initiating a dramatic change in U.S. policy toward Cuba is just the latest in a long line of failed attempts by President Obama to appease rogue regimes at all costs,” Rubio said in a statement Wednesday morning.
The Florida lawmaker, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba in the 1950s, said he was pleased that American Alan Gross have been freed from captivity in Cuba.
But Rubio sounded a negative tone about what the U.S. gave up in order to secure his release, namely three of the spies who were part of the “Cuban Five”.
“They were indicted and prosecuted in a court of law for the crimes of espionage and were linked to the murder of the humanitarian pilots of Brothers to the Rescue. There should be no equivalence between the two, and Gross should have been released unconditionally,” Rubio said.
Rubio continued, saying it is “inexplicable” that Obama has decided to normalize relations with Cuba, arguing that the recent loosening of travel restrictions has only served to benefit the Castro regime and business interests that are unconcerned with the reality on the ground.
“Cuba, like Syria, Iran, and Sudan, remains a state sponsor of terrorism,” Rubio said. “It continues to actively work with regimes like North Korea to illegally traffic weapons in our hemisphere in violation of several United Nations Security Council Resolutions. It colludes with America’s enemies, near and far, to threaten us and everything we hold dear. But most importantly, the regime’s brutal treatment of the Cuban people has continued unabated.”
According to Rubio, the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Western Hemisphere subcommittee, Obama’s appeasement will only serve to embolden America’s enemies and make the U.S. less safe.
“Appeasing the Castro brothers will only cause other tyrants from Caracas to Tehran to Pyongyang to see that they can take advantage of President Obama’s naiveté during his final two years in office,” he said. “As a result, America will be less safe as a result of the President’s change in policy. When America is unwilling to advocate for individual liberty and freedom of political expression 90 miles from our shores, it represents a terrible setback for the hopes of all oppressed people around the globe.”