Jeb Bush: Cuban People Aren't Imprisoned by Past, They're Imprisoned by Castro

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Jeb Bush on Hillary Clinton's Endorsement of Ending Cuban Embargo

It’s insulting to many residents of Miami for Hillary Clinton to come here to endorse a retreat in the struggle for democracy in Cuba. This city has become a home and a refuge to thousands and thousands of Castro’s victims. Secretary Clinton’s call to abandon the embargo – and the principles of democracy and freedom for the Cuban people – in exchange for nothing in return from the regime in Havana adds insult to the pain they and their families feel.

The American people deserve principled leaders who will stand up to our adversaries and stand up for our values. Secretary Clinton’s politically expedient embrace of President Obama’s unilateral concessions to Cuba makes clear she will do neither.

The Obama-Clinton policy is rooted in a false narrative that paints the embargo as a relic of the Cold War. They claim to want to free Cuba from the past, but they misunderstand the present. The Cuban people are not imprisoned by the past, they are imprisoned by the Castro regime.

Americans, especially our government officials, should listen to the stifled voices of Cuban dissidents who languish in prison or are harassed by Castro’s security services, rather than mouthpieces of the Castro regime.

Hillary Clinton had it right when she once said – consistent with the law of the land – that removing the embargo should come only when Cuba is on the path to democracy. She has abandoned that principled position, and with it she has abandoned the people of Cuba who aspire at long last to experience a free and democratic society.

I long for the day when the Cuban people are free from oppression and free to choose their own leaders, and, if elected President, I will be committed to helping them achieve that long-denied liberty.