Tags: gingrich | Cuba

Gingrich: Don't Go Soft On 'Police State' Cuba

Friday, 08 May 2009 03:03 PM

By Dave Eberhart

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said this week that he aggressively supports the hard line on Cuba traditionally endorsed by most Republicans, according to a report in the Sun Sentinel.

"We ought to have a clear long term commitment to getting to a democratically elected free Cuba," Gingrich argued during a press meeting before addressing the Broward Republican Party’s fundraising dinner Thursday evening in Hollywood, Florida.

"I think we ought to mean it and be very aggressive about it. I thought it was very revealing that when the president tried to reach out to Cuba and Raul Castro seemed to indicate some tiny, tiny, tiny bit of flexibility, within three or four days Fidel Castro issued a statement that people were misinterpreting his brother," Gingrich said.

"This is tragically, and has been for 50 years, a police state. It’s a place where poets are locked up in prison," he added.

"After all the talk about Guantanamo where we locked up terrorists, I find it amazing that American politicians, particularly liberals, aren't willing to talk about a place right across the border from Guantanamo where the lock up poets.

"So I’m pretty hard line about this. I think our goal should be a free Cuba. Our goal should be to help the people of Cuba free ourselves. And I think this is a terrible dictatorship and we ought to be honest about it," Gingrich concluded.

During his address proper, Gingrich got the crowd wound up at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa when talking not about Cuba but homeland politics.

"We have to at some point have the courage to stand up for some core ideas," he boomed.

"We are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No politician, no bureaucrat, no judge, no lawyer should have the power to take away from us our God-given rights."

Just last month, Gingrich was rapping President Barack Obama on his warm summit greeting to Venezuela’s strongman and Cuba ally Hugo Chavez, according to a report by the Associated Press.

Gingrich, who has been mentioned in 2012 presidential speculation, said, "How do you mend relationships with someone who actively hates your country?"

"Cuba releases zero prisoners," he said, "yet we make nice with Cuba. I’m for doing things methodically and calmly ... things that will work, but I’m not for deluding myself about smiles and words."

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