The Corner

Rubio on Cuba Deal: ‘Unilateral Concessions in Exchange for Nothing’

Florida Republican senator Marco Rubio slammed the Obama administration’s plan to normalize relations with the Communist Caribbean nation of Cuba after the Castro regime released American prisoner Alan Gross, claiming the White House’s refusal to ask for any concessions from the Castro dictatorship is “absurd” but “par for the course.”

The son of Cuban immigrants, Rubio appeared on Fox News Tuesday to explain that the long-standing U.S. sanctions were put in place not to punish Cuba, but to push the regime to pursue democratic reforms. 

“I think the people of Cuba have a right, if they are free, to choose any economic system they want,” the senator said. “Nothing the president will announce today is going to further that goal. . . . It’s absurd, and it’s part of a long record of coddling dictators and tyrants that this administration has established.”

“They’re creating no economic openings,” Rubio later said. “There are no concessions on freedom of speech, no concessions on elections, no concessions on the freedom to have alternative political parties — what democratic concessions?”

The senator called the deal “par for the course with an administration that is constantly giving away unilateral concessions — whether it’s Iran or, in this case, Cuba — in exchange for nothing.”

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