Inside Marco Rubio’s Cuba—The Way He Sees It
By Jade ScipioniPublished October 12, 2015 FOXBusiness
President Obama has made historic steps towards restoring relations with
Cuba after nearly a half-century of diplomatic freeze. But Republican
Presidential hopeful and Cuban-American Marco Rubio says these new
policies will be short-lived once he takes office.
“When I’m President, the U.S. will not diplomatically recognize the
Cuban government. I would honor the Cuban Democracy Act, which is
pre-existing law that governs our relationship with Cuba and says that
in order for U.S. policy to change the Cuban government must make
changes too,” Rubio tells FOXBusiness.com in an interview.
As the son of Cuban immigrants, he says the changes that are happening
are actually a bitter moment for many of his people who grew up in and
around the Cuban exile community.
“It is as if we have now agreed that Castro and oppression get to stay.
It would be one thing if this was part of a change in our policies in
exchange for a change in Cuban policies, but this is a unilateral
change. We are changing toward Cuba, but Cuba isn’t changing toward us
or its people. For many, it feels like we are accepting that the Cuban
people forever will have to live under a repressive government,” he says.
Obama announced earlier this summer that the United States will formally
re-establish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba, and will
re-open embassies in each other’s countries. He said that the efforts to
isolate Cuba despite our good intentions had the opposite effects and it
ended up isolating us from our neighbors.
“On issues of common interest – like counterterrorism, disaster
response, and development – we will find new ways to cooperate with
Cuba. And I’ve been clear that we will also continue to have some very
serious differences. That will include America’s enduring support for
universal values, like freedom of speech and assembly, and the ability
to access information. And we will not hesitate to speak out when we
see actions that contradict those values,” Obama said in a statement
back in July.
Rubio, a first-term Florida Senator who was born in the U.S., says he
represents all the Cuban exiles who wanted a better life, especially his
grandfather who would tell him stories about life in Cuba for hours on
“In his stories, I sensed that he wondered what he could have achieved
had he been born in a different time and place,” he said.
“My grandfather loved this country and he never took it for granted,
because he knew what life was like outside of it. He knew first-hand
that for almost all of human history, economic prosperity belonged
primarily to those born into families with power and influence. And he
knew America was different because it was founded on the belief that
every human being has a God given right to pursue a happy life. It put
in place a free enterprise economy that rewards merit and work rather
than social status and privilege.”
Rubio says the one thing that most Americans don’t understand is that
there is still no such thing as a Cuban economy.
“There is a cartel that runs everything from the airport to the gas
stations to the hotels, and any increased business in Cuba is increased
revenue for a military dictatorship that used it to further oppress the
Cuban people,” he adds.
He says while President Obama has been quick to deal with the
oppressors, he has been very slow on dealing with the oppressed.
“The Obama Administration’s unilateral lifting of sanctions offers the
Cuban regime a lifeline. It means more revenue to a repressive and
brutal regime that continues to jail and beat its political opponents
and give safe havens to the Chinese and Russians,” he says.
When asked about Cuba’s large oil reserves and the opportunity for U.S.
to partner with them to improve our energy policy, Rubio says Cuban oil
is no different than Venezuelan oil.
“Members of the Castro regime would use it as their own personal piggy
bank, both for personal enrichment and also to fund their governmental
operations at the expense of the Cuban people.”
In July, the NY Times wrote a piece, “Marco Rubio is Hardly a Hero in
Cuba. He Likes That,” about how the presidential candidate is the
island’s least favorite son. Rubio says the story was an expose of the
Castro regime’s propaganda on him.
“The Cuban people don’t have any access to alternative methods of
communication. It’s not a coincidence that every person has the same
opinion. I’m proud that the Castro regime feels threatened by us. They
fear freedom and democracy,” he says.
Rubio, who has never visited Cuba says he would love to visit a “free”
and “democratic” Cuba one day and vows that on his inauguration he will
invite Cuban dissidents and freedom fighters from around the world to be
“Growing up, I was surrounded by a community of Cuban exiles, and to
many I represent their children and grandchildren’s generation. My
success and the success of any American of Cuban descent of my
generation, is their answer. Our lives, accomplishments and
contributions are a lasting tribute to theirs. It affirms that their
lives have had purpose and meaning.”
Follow Jade Scipioni on Twitter @jadescipioni
Source: Inside Marco Rubio’s Cuba—The Way He Sees It | Fox Business –