Two potential 2016 foes publicly traded blows in recent days over the United States’s shift in its policy towards Cuba — and one of them’s a Cuban American.
Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said on Thursday that his colleague, Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.), who supports the president’s plans to normalize relations with Cuba, “has no idea what he’s talking about” when it comes to the issue.
On Friday, Paul posted a response to Rubio on his Facebook page:
Senator Marco Rubio believes the embargo against Cuba has been ineffective, yet he wants to continue perpetuating failed policies. After 50 years of conflict, why not try a new approach? The United States trades and engages with other communist nations, such as China and Vietnam. Why not Cuba? I am a proponent of peace through commerce, and I believe engaging Cuba can lead to positive change.
Seems to me, Senator Rubio is acting like an isolationist who wants to retreat to our borders and perhaps build a moat. I reject this isolationism. Finally, let’s be clear that Senator Rubio does not speak for the majority of Cuban-Americans. A recent poll demonstrates that a large majority of Cuban-Americans actually support normalizing relations between our countries.
(Paul’s reference to isolationism is a shot at critics of his own approach to foreign policy, which he says is realist and non-interventionist.)
Paul went after Rubio on Twitter, too:
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 19, 2014
Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, has been an adamant defender of the U.S.’s isolation of the Cuban regime, and has been a leading critic of the Obama administration’s announcement this week that the U.S. will normalize diplomatic relations with the Communist state. Paul has emerged as one of the most prominent Republicans backing the change.