Young, Cuban-American N.Y. Legislator Slams Cuomo, Obama Policy

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Must be another "glitch" in the push-polls.

From The Staten Island Advance:

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis slams Obama, Cuomo on Cuba

Having criticized President Barack Obama's December decision to normalize U.S. relations with communist Cuba, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis took to the airwaves Monday to hit the president, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on their support for the regime.

Cuomo flew to the nation on Monday, along with state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, business executives and a gaggle of reporters for a daylong trade mission.

Obama announced in December his plan to normalize relations with the communist country and its president, Raul Castro, arguing that the United States keeping chilled relations hasn't helped the country or its residents.

Avoiding Congress while loosening some restrictions on Cuba, Obama has said he would ultimately work to lift an embargo and other sanctions.

Normalized relations include reopening an embassy in Havana; significantly easing trade restrictions, financial restrictions and travel limits on Americans to Cuba.

While Cuba released three Americans being detained for espionage there, Castro said nothing of American hopes that he would give Cubans expanded Internet access or other freedoms.

The Obama administration is reviewing whether Cuba's status as a state sponsor of terrorism should be lifted.

Speaking on the John Gambling radio show on AM 970 The Answer Monday afternoon, Ms. Malliotakis, a Greek-Cuban Republican whose mother fled Cuba, said, "Cubans are not going to benefit from this policy" because the communist regime will take whatever U.S. imports will come to the country.

Even if leaders would allow goods to reach the people, the average Cuban earns about $10/month, making it impossible to buy anything but the bare minimum, she noted.

But Cubans are afraid to say anything for fear of jail or being beaten, Ms. Malliotakis said.

"I really don't see the purpose in what the president is trying to do, or what the governor is trying to do for that matter," the assemblywoman said.

Having visited family in Cuba on a visa in 2009, the assemblywoman said the situation in Cuba is dire, not because of the U.S. embargo, but because of the oppression of the Castro regime.

Besides human rights violations, the Castro regime has allowed Russia to build a foreign intelligence base in Cuba, about 90 miles away from Florida. Cuba also supports a nuclear Iran and has harbored JoAnne Chesimard after she was convicted of murdering a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973.

The assemblywoman pointed to a news article written about Cuomo while en route to the country Monday, in which he took no position on Ms. Chesimard.

The assemblywoman said Ms. Chesimard's return to the United States should be negotiated as a condition for normalizing relations.

Ms. Malliotakis further criticized Obama, saying, "It's quite telling" that he wouldn't meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an ally of the United States, when he came to Washington, D.C., in March, but met with the communist Castro.

The assemblywoman faulted Obama for acting beyond his authority, adding that Congress needs to be consulted.