Tags: Castro-Cuba | rubio | cuba | democracy | castrop

Rubio: Democracy Is My 'Sole Interest' for Cuba

By    |   Sunday, 11 Jan 2015 04:59 PM

Sen. Marco Rubio says his sole interest for Cuba is bringing democracy to its people, not in granting legitimacy to the Castro government.

Rubio, a Florida Republican and possible 2016 presidential contender, said Sunday on "The Cats Roundtable" on AM 970 in New York  that President Barack Obama shouldn't have restored relations with Cuba without getting democratic reforms from the Castro regime.

"My sole interest is for democracy to return to Cuba and for the Cuban people to have freedoms that are enjoyed by millions of people elsewhere in the hemisphere," Rubio told host John Catsimatidis. Cuba is the only country in the Western hemisphere that has not held free elections in the last 50 years, he noted.

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Obama has given the Cuban government the equivalent of billions of dollars of assistance by allowing more travel and trade with the country, he said, and is bestowing a strong level of legitimacy on the government.

In exchange, the Castro regime agreed only to release 53 political prisoners whose names have yet to be disclosed, he noted.

"And today there are reports that the people that are being released are both at the end of their prison terms and being sternly warned that if they take up the cause of democracy they’ll be re-arrested," he said."

Such deals in the past have brought some economic recovery, but have never worked to bring political freedoms, said Rubio, pointing to China, Vietnam, and Burma.

Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants who left the country during the revolution of the 1950s. He said they made a return visit in 1959 after Fidel Castro took over, hoping there would be reforms, but family members warned them never to return since the island nation was becoming communist.

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Sen. Marco Rubio says his sole interest for Cuba is bringing democracy to its people, not in granting legitimacy to the Castro government.
rubio, cuba, democracy, castrop
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2015-59-11
Sunday, 11 Jan 2015 04:59 PM
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