Marco Rubio Wednesday lashed out a President Barack Obama's plan to visit Cuba within the next month, telling South Carolina voters that he would be supporting a repressive regime.
"The problem with the Cuban government is that it's not just a Communist dictator ruling an anti-American Communist dictatorship," the Republican presidential candidate told a CNN town hall meeting. "They helped North Korea evades U.N. sanctions.
"The Cuban government today harbors hundreds of fugitives of American justice. People who have stolen your money. They come to the U.S., steal money, engage in Medicare fraud and then go back to Cuba.
"The Cuban government is protecting them," Rubio said, noting that the Raul Castro regime is protecting Joanne Chesimard, who was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1977.
"She escaped jail, fled to Cuba. The Cuban government is protecting her.
"Beyond that, they are a repressive regime," he added. "There's no election in Cuba."
Citing Burma, Rubio said that any change in relations with Havana must be reciprocal.
"Today, the former minority party is now the majority party in their legislative body because our change towards them was conditional on their change towards their people.
"He didn't ask that of the Cuban people," he said of Obama. "A year and two months after the opening of Cuba, the Cuban government remains as oppressive."
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