Tags: Castro-Cuba | Ted Yoho | keep | sanctions | cuba | castro | human rights

Rep. Ted Yoho: Congress Should Keep Sanctions on Cuba

By    |   Wednesday, 01 July 2015 09:33 PM

Congress should not lift economic sanctions against Cuba until "we get some of the details worked out" with Havana on human rights and many other issues, Rep. Ted Yoho told Newsmax on Wednesday.

"I don't think we should do that," the first-term Florida Republican said in an interview. Cuban President Raul Castro has "been making demands on America" since he and President Barack Obama announced that the countries would normalize relations in December.

"We're negotiating with a country that doesn't even like us," Yoho said. "The president is immature in this and he's naïve. I don't know why he's doing this at this point and in this fashion."

Obama Wednesday urged Congress to follow his decision to reopen the American embassy in Havana by lifting the 55-year-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba.

"We don’t have to be imprisoned by the past," Obama said at the White House. "Americans and Cubans alike are looking to move forward. I believe it’s time for Congress to do the same."

The U.S. embassy will reopen on July 20, when Cuba also will reopen its operation in Washington. Secretary of State John Kerry will go Havana to "proudly raise the American flag over our embassy once more," President Obama said.

But Yoho and other Republicans slammed Obama's move to reopen the embassy, with many accusing the president of legitimizing a regime responsible for many human rights abuses and weakening our hand in dealing with other rogue nations.

"The Obama administration is handing the Castros a lifetime dream of legitimacy without getting a thing for the Cuban people being oppressed by this brutal communist dictatorship," House Speaker John Boehner said. "Relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until Cubans enjoy freedom — and not one second sooner."

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that "by suggesting the dictatorship in Cuba is an acceptable or normal government, we are sending the worst possible message at the most critical time.

"President Obama is truly writing new chapters in American foreign policy," he added. "Unfortunately, these latest chapters are ones of America and the values we stand for — human rights, freedom, and democracy — that are in retreat and decline."

Graham's colleague in the House, Rep. Jeff Duncan, who chairs the House Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, accused President Obama of following "a foreign policy that is entirely removed from the cruel realities of authoritarian regimes.

"The Obama administration’s policy of 'progress' seems to be a policy that will only increase the bottom line for the Castro brothers and other communist thugs," Duncan said.

Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said that Obama's "continued appeasement of dictators around the world is beyond troubling.

"Since the president announced initial discussions with Cuba in December, there has been no change in the Castro brothers’ behavior. Yet we continue to reward them with unearned concessions, weakening our hand against our adversaries around the world.

"What kind of message does this send to the ayatollahs in Iran during this delicate period?" Cotton asked, referring to the continuing nuclear talks with Iran.

Yoho's fellow Sunshine State Republican, Rep. Ron DeSantis, called the embassy move "another slap in the face of the Cuban-Americans who fled Castro's tyranny for freedom.

"This reckless action by the president will embolden Castro's government and add a cloak of legitimacy to what is in fact a totalitarian regime that has oppressed millions, including many in Florida."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Congress should not lift economic sanctions against Cuba until we get some of the details worked out with Havana on human rights and many other issues, Rep. Ted Yoho told Newsmax on Wednesday. I don't think we should do that, the first-term Florida Republican said in an...
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Wednesday, 01 July 2015 09:33 PM
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