Policy Changes Towards Cuba Should be Conditioned

Sunday, May 17, 2015
Excerpt from an interview with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in Georgia's Marietta Daily Journal:

Q: Your former colleague, Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, said yesterday in Marietta that “we are kidding ourselves if we think it is in our best interest to have full trade and diplomatic relations with Cuba in the short term.” Do you agree?

Rubio: I think he’s right. He’s right. First of all, there’s no such thing as a Cuban economy. The entire Cuban economy is operated by a holding company run by Raul Castro’s son-in-law. So when we’re talking about more trade with Cuba, what we’re talking about is more trade with the Cuban military. And all of that is going to go through the filter of their own hands. They’re going to choose what comes in and they’re going to choose what goes to the people. And largely their interest is not benefiting the people. Their interest is in solidifying power for another generation. Second, it does not behoove the United States to have 90 miles from its shores an anti-American dictatorship that sponsors intelligence facilities used by the Chinese and the Russians and which is the third most active intelligence agency against us, who harbors fugitives of American justice, including dozens of fugitives and a cop killer from New Jersey, and a country who helps North Korea evade sanctions, as evidenced by a ship that left the port of Mariel or Havana last year and was intercepted in the Panama Canal, destined for North Korea with weapons that were in violation of the UN sanctions on North Korea. I think a better approach would be to condition U.S. policy changes on political changes on the island of Cuba.