While many people are celebrating the thawing tensions between the United States and Cuba, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has proven critical of the political shift.
President Barack Obama announced on July 1 that the U.S. will reopen embassies in Havana, Cuba’s capital. “It's unacceptable and a slap in the face of a close ally that the United States will have an embassy in Havana before one in Jerusalem,” Cruz, who is Cuban-American, said on Twitter. The U.S. has an embassy in Tel Aviv, but Cruise has repeatedly said it should be moved to Jerusalem, The Hill reported.
Fellow Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has also backed relocating the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, although a law passed in 1995 prohibits the move.
Cruz went on to criticize the U.S.’s strategy in Cuba. "I think it is a mistake to give Castro everything he wants in exchange for nothing," Cruz told reporters on Wednesday at a Houston book signing for his memoir, the Houston Chronicle Reported.
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However Cruz is open to maintaining the new relationship with Cuba."Is there a world in which we would negotiate in Cuba to achieve meaningful reforms to allow free speech, to free the political prisoners, to let people be engaged and have freedom? Absolutely," Cruz said.
He did not say if he would close the Havana embassy if given the opportunity. "I would use every lever that we have to press for meaningful change in Cuba," he said.