Speaking in Miami, Florida on July 31, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton advocated for the repeal of the five decade old Cuban embargo to further diplomatic relations with the country.
“We cannot afford to let out-of-touch, out-of-date partisan ideas and candidates rip away all the progress we’ve made. We can’t go back to cowboy diplomacy and reckless war-mongering,” Clinton said. “We can’t go back to a go-it-alone foreign policy that views American boots on the ground as a first choice rather than as a last resort. We have paid too high a price in lives, power and prestige to make those same mistakes again.”
Clinton’s current stance on the Cuban embargo is a dramatic change in tone from just seven years ago, when she last ran for the presidency. During her first campaign, Clinton objected to removing any embargo from Cuba, possibly due to former President Bill Clinton signing it into federal law in 1996, Politico noted.
While Clinton did not mention any of her Republican challengers by name, some still reacted to her comments. The most significant reaction came from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
“After Clinton’s failed ‘reset’ with Putin, now she wants to do a ‘reset’ with Castro. She is making another mistake,” Rubio tweeted.
Clinton said her administration would act in the best interest of Cubans by allowing more traffic and less restrictions on trade and travel, even if Congress did not pass the removal of the embargo. However, a large crowd of Cuban-Americans was at her speech to protest her message with some shouting “Cuban Lives Matter!,” a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement created in the United States late last year.
The Cuban American population is crucial in presidential election, specifically for the effect is has on Florida’s lucrative electoral votes. The New York Times noted that there are 1.8 million Cubans living in America, with half of those just in Miami-Dade County alone. She assured the crowd that her latest decision on the subject was tough.
“I did not come to this position lightly,” Clinton added.