Tags: Huckabee | cuba

Huckabee Explains Flip on Cuba Embargo

By Ashley Martella   |   Tuesday, 11 Dec 2007 03:39 PM

As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee lobbied President Bush to lift the embargo on Cuba to help the many rice farmers in his state. Now, he says he supports the embargo. What’s changed?

“The change was I’m running for president and am not the governor of just Arkansas, and if I’m president I have to be president of the whole country,” Huckabee told Fox’s Hannity and Colmes last night.

The Republican presidential hopeful says he met with members of the Cuban-American community in Miami about a year ago and “became better aware of why lifting the embargo would be a very bad idea as long as Castro, or for that matter, his brother is in power.”

Huckabee says when he wrote the letter to President Bush in 2002, imploring him to lift the embargo, we were in a recession and a lot of rice markets were depressed. So he made trips to Taiwan, to Japan and South Korea as governor, to try to find open markets for the rice. Now, it’s a different situation, he says.

“More importantly, there’s no reason that we should lift that embargo because of the oppressive, tyrannical regime of Fidel Castro, and even worse if his brother should take succession. So, I recognize this is a position that is best for the United States even if it not best for the immediate needs of the rice farmers of my state.”

“But that’s part of being president. You have to be president of all 50 states.”

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