This morning, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan (R-WI), released the House GOP's agenda on foreign policy and national security, as part of his "Better Way" blueprint for 2016.
Below are some key Cuba-related excerpts:
recent years, American foreign policy has often focused on appeasing
rather than opposing our adversaries on vital issues of national
security. Interpreting U.S. attempts at rapprochement as weakness,
countries like Russia and Iran have expanded their influence at the
expense of America and our allies. As a result, other countries are
beginning to ignore our demands, warnings, and red lines, damaging
America’s influence and credibility. The United States must begin
decisively confronting adversarial powers and rogue regimes when they
threaten our interests. We must also restore the confidence of our
allies, who often feel ignored and even abandoned by Washington.
Obama administration took office with the misguided goal of conducting
closer engagement with America’s adversaries. They extended an open hand
to governments in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and
Venezuela, and made damaging concessions often from a position of
weakness. In the process, they have emboldened those regimes, alienated
our allies, and left America in a more vulnerable strategic position.
Now we must take immediate action to repair alliances and partnerships
around the globe and to be clear about how the United States treats
friends and foes. [...]
[I]n our own backyard we will continue to
work with our friends and stem the influence of foes. Our relations
with Canada and Mexico are crucial, especially in managing trans-border
trade and countering trans-border threats. But we cannot blindly follow
the administration’s normalization plan with communist Cuba, a regime
that is fundamentally opposed to U.S. policy and that represses an
entire population only 90 miles from our coastline. Instead, we will
work to restore U.S. leverage, hold the Castro regime accountable, and
make sure any further accommodations are met first with real concessions
from the Cuban government. A first step should be to ban financial
transactions with the Cuban military. [...]
Our leverage to
promote democracy and human rights should never be squandered. The Obama
administration sought to normalize relations with the Castro regime in
exchange for the promise of democratic and human rights progress in
Cuba. One year into the agreement, which included reopening the American
embassy in Havana, the Castro regime is as repressive as ever. In the
first two months of 2016 alone, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights
registered 2,588 political arrests. Nevertheless, President Obama
reneged on his vow to refuse to travel to Cuba until human rights had
The voice of the President is a powerful tool. History
will forever remember President Reagan’s resounding demand, “Mr.
Gorbachev, tear down this wall”—two years before it fell. East Germans,
Poles, and Russians rejected Communism for many reasons, but Reagan’s
clarion call inspired millions behind the Iron Curtain. By contrast, in
both word and deed, President Obama has wavered in opposing repression
worldwide. In his determination to reach rapprochements with oppressive
regimes, the president has given short shrift to the strivings of
Iranians, Cubans, and other peoples living under the boot of his new
06/05 - 06/12
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- House GOP Targets Financial Ties With Cuban Milita...
- Over 724 Political Arrests in May, Repression Expo...
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- Russia's Strategic Use of Cuban Ports
- Obama's Cuba Policy Has Gutted the Democratic Char...
- Must-Read: The Perils of Secret Diplomacy
- Obama Further Raises Value of Taking Hostages and ...
- Castro: Cuba Will Never Rejoin "Imperialist" OAS
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