The Obama administration is making concessions to Cuba’s Castro brothers and getting nothing in return from a dictatorship that has held power for over 50 years, former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez told Newsmax.
Gutierrez, who is supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, noted that the Obama administration was very vocal in opposing such dictators as Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, who was in power for 42 years, and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, in power for 31 years, but had done little about the Castro regime.
“What worries me is the Obama administration is giving concessions to the Castro brothers without getting anything back,” the Cuban refugee said in an interview at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Doral, Fla. “Not only not getting anything back but they have thrown back some things that aren’t very friendly. So President Obama has lifted remittances, they’ve lifted the cap on remittances; people can send whatever amount of money they want to Cuba. So all of a sudden Castro has a lifeline thanks to President Obama. That doesn’t help the Cuban people, it helps Castro, it helps the people close to Castro stay in power.
“What has he gotten in return? They just slapped a 15 year sentence on an American citizen who was taking computers down for the Jewish Cuban community. I haven’t heard a word from this administration. I mean if it were someone in Iran I suppose we would say something because that’s popular to say but why isn’t someone talking about Cuba, 52 years.”
Gutierrez, Vice Chairman of Citigroup's Institutional Clients Group and honorary co-chairman of Romney’s National Hispanic Steering Committee, praised Romney for “recognizing that we have had a dictatorship, a brutal, brutal dictatorship, 90 miles from our shores for 52 years.”
“And everyone is up in arms that Mubarak was there for 31, Gadhafi for 42,” he said. “What are we doing about the fact that we have this brutal, ruthless dictator that is putting our citizens in jail and we’re not saying anything? People get very frustrated by that, why doesn’t our government say anything.”
Gutierrez said that Hispanics are well-aware of the Obama administration’s political gamesmanship with immigration reform.
“They were promised immigration reform and they haven’t gotten anything,” he said. “And what they have noticed is not so much that the administration had a very strong effort to get immigration reform but that immigration reform has been used as a political football, as a tactical political football. So Harry Reid throws out a bill knowing it’ll never pass so he can blame it on Republicans. The president says this but blames it on Republicans but nothing has happened and he had the House and the Senate for his first two years. So, Hispanics see that and a lot of Hispanics I’ve spoken with feel like they’ve been taken for a ride and they don’t like that.”
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