Important Points on Obama's Bad Cuba Deal

Thursday, January 8, 2015
In a story on whether U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was kept in the dark about The White House's negotiations with the Castro regime, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) make some very important points.

From Fox News:

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a Cuban-American lawmaker who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee and has been fiercely critical of the policy shift – arguing that the U.S. failed to extract significant concessions from the Castro regime on its abysmal human rights record – told Fox News the furtive means employed in the Cuba talks helped to produce what he sees as an unsatisfactory outcome.

“It wasn’t State Department officials, it wasn’t [Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs] Roberta Jacobson or John Kerry, it was NSC officials,” Rubio said. “You sent unqualified people to negotiate with hardened, brutal spies and representatives of tyrants... It was negotiated at a secretive level involving agencies under the complete control of the White House, as a political move… And that mismatch is apparent in this sort of deal that was made.”

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., also Cuban-American and until recently the chair of the Foreign Relations committee – and also a vocal critic of the policy shift – bristled at being kept in the dark about the NSC’s “clandestine” talks with Cuban officials. “Whenever I pursued [the subject], either in individual conversation or in questions before the full committee, no one alluded that there were any conversations going on with the Castro regime,” Menendez told Fox News this week.

“One would begin to wonder to what degree the State Department was engaged in all this. Certainly, as someone who is going to continue to have a leadership role on the committee on Senate Foreign Relations, it's going to create a doubt in my mind when State Department witnesses come before the committee. Are they either telling us the entire truth, or are they just shunned out of the process by the White House? Either way, it's going to create some real concerns (over) the veracity of what we're hearing in testimony, as we move forward.”