Marco Rubio scores at GOP debate with condemnation of Obama’s Cuba policy
Florida senator gets big applause by saying US-Cuba thaw had simply
allowed more money to flow to Castro regime instead of lifting Cuban people
Marco Rubio scored a huge hit on the Republican debate stage in Miami on
Thursday night, with strident rhetoric on the subject of Barack Obama’s
reopening of relations with Cuba.
The Florida senator, the son of Cuban migrants, is seeking to win the
Florida primary on Tuesday and thus rescue his flagging campaign for the
He was asked about Obama’s trip later this month to Cuba, which is still
governed by the communist Castro regime. Rubio was asked why the United
States should not engage further with Cuba.
Rubio said the US changes had allowed money to flow to the Castro
regime, and added: “Nothing will change for the Cuban people … In fact
things are worse, than they were before this opening.”
The only result of “the opening”, he said, was that the Cuban government
had more sources of money.
It was a huge applause line.
Donald Trump, who leads Rubio comfortably in polls in Florida, had
previously said on the campaign trail that opening Cuba was fine. Under
attack in the Miami debate from all the candidates who trail him in the
polls and the mounting delegate count, he said “I want a much better
deal with Cuba” and repeated a familiar line: “We don’t make any good
“I do agree that something should take place,” he added. “After 50 years
it’s enough time, folks. But we have to make a good deal here.”
In response, Rubio rattled down a list of anti-Castro grievances and was
applauded wildly again, drowning out attempts to ask Senator Ted Cruz –
the son of a Cuban father and an American mother – the next question.
Would you break diplomatic relations with Cuba, Cruz was asked.
“Yes I would,” Cruz says.
Cruz said the question illustrated “a real difference between us” on
foreign policy. Trump, Cruz said, supports the “same basic trajectory”
of policy as Obama and Hillary Clinton, when Obama’s first secretary of
state, have established.
John Kasich, the fourth man onstage, was asked if he would encourage US
companies to do business with Cuba. Kasich said he would not.
Trump, meanwhile, repeated: “We would not do the deal unless it would be
a very good deal for us.”
Then he skipped to the Iran nuclear … deal.
Source: Marco Rubio scores at GOP debate with condemnation of Obama’s
Cuba policy | US news | The Guardian –