GOP Senators Clash Over New Cuba Policy

| by Edward Arnold
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President Obama announced last Wednesday that U.S. foreign policy with Cuba has changed. One thing that has not changed is politicians using a key reform issue to fight with each other.

Almost moments after the President's speech to open diplomatic relations with Cuba, among other things, Sen. Marco Rubio came out strongly opposed to the action. Yesterday, he explained why he is against the policy change.

“I am opposed to changes like this that have no chance to leading to the change we want, which is freedom and more liberty for the Cuban people,” Rubio said. “This change is entirely predicated upon the false notion that engagement alone automatically leads to freedom.”

Sen. Rubio, a potential 2016 Presidential candidate, could be leading the opposition to gain momentum for an upcoming campaign. Sen. Rand Paul, another potential Presidential candidate for 2016, denies Rubio's opposition on Cuba.

“Senator Marco Rubio is acting like an isolationist who wants to retreat to our borders and perhaps build a moat. I reject this isolationism,” Paul wrote on Twitter.

Sen. Rubio responded to Sen. Rand Paul on ABC News "This Week."

“Rand, if he wants to become the chief cheerleader of Obama's foreign policy, he certainly has a right to do that,” he said. "I'm going to continue to oppose the Obama — Obama-Paul foreign policy on Cuba because I know it won't lead to freedom and liberty for the Cuban people, which is my sole interest here.”

In regards to the historic change in Cuba policy, Congress and especially the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, of which both Paul and Rubio are members, will debate the President's actions toward Cuba. Other foreign policy issues are the continued fight against ISIS and the possible response against North Korea for the attack on Sony. With Congress off until January, no formal debate will occur until Jan. 6.

Sources: NPR, ABC News, Huffington Post / Photo Credit: Huffington Post, Wikimedia Commons