Rubio Opposes Blinken Nomination Over Cuba Policy

Friday, December 12, 2014
Rubio Opposes Nominee To Be Deputy Secretary Of State For Failure To Answer Key Questions About Cuba Policy

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today announced his opposition to President Obama’s nomination of Antony Blinken to be deputy secretary of state.

During Blinken’s confirmation hearing in November, Rubio questioned Blinken about any future unilateral changes to U.S.-Cuba policy absent democratic reforms, as required by law, on the oppressed island nation. When given several opportunities – during the hearing and in follow-up written testimony – to categorically rule out the possibility of unilateral changes to Cuba policy, Blinken demurred.

In making this announcement, Rubio issued the following statement:

“As I said after Mr. Blinken’s confirmation hearing, I am very concerned that President Obama’s nominee to be John Kerry’s deputy at the Department of State passed up several opportunities to categorically rule out the possibility of unilateral changes to U.S. policy towards Cuba. Unless Cuba begins an irreversible democratic transformation, the U.S. should not reward the Castro regime with unilateral concessions from us that enrich the regime and help it repress millions of Cubans.

One can disagree with U.S. policy with respect to Cuba and believe that our laws must be changed, but if you’re going to serve at the U.S. Department of State, especially in such a high ranking leadership position, you must faithfully execute existing laws. Mr. Blinken has been afforded numerous opportunities to make clear that he will abide by U.S.-Cuba policy that has been codified into law, and he declined to do so each time.

Unless Mr. Blinken makes such assurances that he will faithfully execute the laws that currently exist with respect to U.S.-Cuba policy, I will continue to oppose his nomination.”