On the day the United States officially restored diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time in 54 years, Republican presidential contender Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida disagreed with President Barack Obama’s stance on the issue.
Speaking at the Foreign Policy Initiative in New York City on Aug. 14, Rubio said he believed that Obama was undoing long-held processes from previous administrations.
“President Obama has rewarded the Castro regime for its repressive tactics and persistent, patient opposition to American interests,” Rubio said. “He has unilaterally given up on a half-century worth of policy toward the Castro regime that was agreed upon by presidents of both parties.”
Continuing his statement of disapproval, Rubio used America’s global enemies to characterize what he believes is a potentially harmful relationship with Cuba.
“The deal with Cuba threatens America’s moral standing in our hemisphere and around the world, brings legitimacy to a state sponsor of terror, and further empowers an ally of China and Russia that sits just 90 miles from our shore,” Rubio added.
According to CBS News, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cuba early on Aug. 14 to attend the inaugural flag-raising ceremony at the newly established American embassy.
Later, Rubio outlined his administration’s views on Cuba and what he would do differently if he were to be the next president.
“We must guarantee that the United States stands on the side of the Cuban people, not their oppressors,” Rubio said.
While the new relations with Cuba will become a political issue in the future, more Americans are now concerned about the Iran deal. According to a new poll from The Associated Press, 9 out of 10 Americans wanted to hear more about cyberterrorism as opposed to just 1 in 3 voters who thought Cuba was a bigger issue.
Speaking on the Iran deal, Rubio remained blunt in his wording: “I will give the mullahs a choice: Either you have an economy or you have a nuclear program, but you cannot have both.”