Senior Administration Official: Democratic Reforms Needed in Cuba Prior to Policy Changes

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
During yesterday's confirmation hearing for Tony Blinken as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked whether the Obama Administration planned any unilateral changes to Cuba policy during the remainder of his term.

Blinken responded that: "Anything that might be done on Cuba will have to be consistent with the law. And second, anything that in the future might be done on Cuba would be done in full consultation with Congress.”

However, Blinken stressed that "unless Cuba is able to demonstrate that it is taking meaningful steps to move forward, I don’t see how you move forward in the relationship."

And that, thus far, Cuba's regime has been moving in "the wrong direction" with increased political detentions, harassment and the imprisonment of American development worker, Alan Gross.

As to what "moving forward" means, Blinken clarified that this means "democratic reforms" -- "not simply economic reforms."

Watch the full exchange below (or here):