National Security Adviser John Bolton defended the Trump administration's change from more than two decades of American policy toward Cuba, telling MSNBC's "MTP Daily" on Wednesday that U.S. foreign policy should be "based on the pursuit of American national interests."
The State Department announced Wednesday it would permit Cuban Americans to sue the foreign power over property they lost during the 1959 Cuban Revolution. A 1996 act gave Americans this right, but every president since then has suspended the key clause due to fears of alienating U.S. allies and complicating ties with Havana.
When asked why the administration is standing on principle with Cuba but not with other authoritarian or dictatorial regimes, Bolton said "I don't have any trouble at all explaining the distinction . . . Sometimes regimes that look alike are treated differently because in the constellation of American interest, our relationship with them and the circumstances we face is different, and I don't think we need to make any apologies for that – not this administration, or not other administrations."
The European Union, which has many business interests in Cuba, condemned the State Department announcement and warned it will "consider all options at its disposal to protect its legitimate interests," including calling for World Trade Organization action.
The Trump administration has been adopting a more aggressive stance toward Cuba after former President Barack Obama had been moving toward a thawing of relations with Havana.
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