For months, many have been asking which Republican presidential candidate is the strongest on Cuba policy.
That's tough to answer.
So instead of analyzing who is the strongest, it's probably easier to identify who are the weakest.
There are two.
First, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who supports unilaterally lifting all sanctions towards Cuba and unconditionally normalizing relations with the Castro dictatorship.
As Paul selfishly concluded in 2007:
"It's time to stop talking solely in terms of what's best for the Cuban people. How about the wishes of the American people, who are consistently in favor of diplomacy with Cuba? Let's stop the hysterics about the freedom of Cubans — which is not our government's responsibility — and consider freedom of the American people, which is."
And secondly, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has expressed his support for the Obama Administration's policy of unlimited travel and remittances to Cuba (which has more than doubled the Castro regime's foreign currency reserves).
As Gingrich revealed during a November interview with Yahoo News:
"Q. President Obama has opened more air travel to the island. Would you shut down those flights?
Gingrich: No, but I would very aggressively move towards maximizing dissent inside Cuba. Mostly covert, and also just subsidies. Go back and look what we did in Poland for example when we aggressively supported Solidarity."
It's a zero-sum proposition (at best) to support dissent, while overwhelmingly financing Castro's repression.
Fortunately, the rest of the field (congruently) supports strengthening the pro-democracy movement, while depriving the dictatorship of the hard-currency it desperately needs.
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- U.S. Senators Call for Release of Ivonne Malleza
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