Tags: Barack Obama | Cuba | War on Terrorism | barack obama | cuba | removal | terror

GOP Rips Obama Decision to Remove Cuba From Terror-Sponsor List

By    |   Friday, 29 May 2015 06:56 PM

The Obama administration's removal of Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism was bitterly denounced by top Republicans Friday, with House Speaker John Boehner slamming the decision as handing the communist regime "a significant political win in return for nothing."

"The communist dictatorship has offered no assurances it will address its long record of repression and human rights abuses at home," the Ohio lawmaker said in a statement following the State Department's move that clears the way for normalizing diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

"Nor has it offered any indication it will cease its support for violence throughout the region… [R]elations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom – and not one second sooner."

Boehner added Cuba's removal from the terror list "is just the latest example of this administration focusing more on befriending our enemies than helping our allies."

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban-American and outspoken critic of the Castro government, said the administration had no justification for taking Cuba off the terror list, which now consists of just three nations: Iran, Sudan and Syria, the Washington Times reports.

"Castro continues to provide a safe haven to terror groups like the Colombian FARC and Spanish ETA and harbors fugitives from American justice," she said, the Washington Times reports. "President [Barack] Obama’s decision … demonstrates that this administration has once again put politics over policy. Cuba should not have been removed … since one of the many reasons for its inclusion are its links to repressive regimes around the world such as Iran, Syria, and Russia."

Likely GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush said the move is a sign Obama is "more interested in capitulating to our adversaries than in confronting them," the newspaper reports.

"Neither continued repression at home nor Cuba's destabilizing activities abroad appear sufficient to stop President Obama from making further concessions to the Communist regime in Havana… Iran's leaders are surely taking note," he added, noting the removal "is a mistake."

New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie, who's also considering a White House bid, criticized the decision as "an unacceptable offense" to the family of a slain New Jersey state trooper whose killer, Joanne Chesimard, fled to Cuba, NJ Advance Media reports.

"The condition for which Cuba is able to join the rest of the civilized world must rest on the country's commitment to hand over every terrorist currently being harbored, starting with Joanne Chesimard," Christie said, NJ Advance Media reports.

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants, added the "dangerous and misguided policy is resulting in the U.S. conceding on bedrock values, while Cuba is only more intransigent and uncompromising in its disrespect for universal values and freedoms," the media outlet reports.

Menendez also echoed Boehner's criticism, saying the Castro regime "has not shown one iota of change in its actions that earned it a spot on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list," PJ Media reports.

"This approach of the U.S. giving and Cuba taking simply rewards the regime for decades of repression," he said. "The Castro regime is feeling vindicated for 50 years of brutality, making this announcement a further misstep in a profoundly flawed policy."

He added: "It is terribly disconcerting that the list of unilateral concessions by the Obama administration continues to grow without any signs of reciprocity from a despotic and reinvigorated Castro regime. At the end of the day, decisions like this are doing nothing but depriving the Cuban people the liberties and freedoms they seek and deserve."

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The Obama administration's removal of Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism was bitterly denounced by top Republicans Friday, with House Speaker John Boehner slamming the decision as handing the communist regime "a significant political win in return for nothing."
barack obama, cuba, removal, terror, sponsor, list, republicans
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2015-56-29
Friday, 29 May 2015 06:56 PM
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