Tags: trump | softens | hard-line | stance | cuba

Trump 'Fine' With Obama Cuba Policy

Image: Trump 'Fine' With Obama Cuba Policy
Donald Trump now says he is "fine" with President Barack Obama's efforts in Cuba, which includes reopening the U.S. embassy in Havana. (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 11 Sep 2015 07:12 AM

Donald Trump has softened his once hard-line stance on Cuba, even though his fellow Republican candidates have voiced opposition to President Barack Obama efforts to strength ties with the Communist island nation, reported Politico.

In a story published in the Daily Caller on Monday, the real estate mogul turned politician referenced a decades-old embargo when he said he was "fine" with Obama's efforts which included reopening a U.S. embassy in Havana, noted Politico.

"I think it's fine," Trump said in the Daily Caller interview. "I think it's fine, but we should have made a better deal. The concept of opening with Cuba — 50 years is enough — the concept of opening with Cuba is fine. I think we should have made a stronger deal."

That's not what the leading Republican presidential candidate said in 1999 in an El Nuevo Herald editorial and some speeches to Cuban exiles that year when he considered running for president as a Reform Party candidate, according to Politico.

"He's been a killer, he's a criminal, and I don't think you should reward people who have done what he's done," Trump said in 1999 in referring to Fidel Castro, noted the Miami Herald.

Trump said then that the United States should stay firm with the embargo against the country regardless of the cost.

"Yes, the embargo is costly," Trump said in 1999. "If I formed a joint venture with European partners, I would make millions of dollars. But I'd rather lose those millions than lose my self-respect."

Raul Mas, a Cuban American leader and activist from Miami, said he was disappointed to see Trump change sides on the Cuba issue.

"He seems to have a knack for changing positions. Yes, Trump could have struck a better deal. Then again, it seems just about anybody can negotiate better than our president," said Mas. "The only acceptable deal for Cuba is one that brings real freedom to the 11 million Cuban people enslaved by the Castro brothers."

"Anything less is a really, really bad deal ... made by a really, really bad negotiator," saod Mas.

Trump's new position on Cuba puts him at odds with nearly everyone else in the Republican field, according to CNN. Only Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has shown support for normalizing relations with Cuba.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush and current Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio have both blasted Obama's efforts to normalize relations on the presidential campaign stump.

CNN quoted Rubio as saying that the normalization gave "a lifeline for the Castro regime that will allow them to become more profitable ... and allow them to become a more permanent fixture."

The Miami Herald said, though, that Trump's statement comes with little risk in Florida, which has the country's largest Cuban migrant population. Although 73 percent of Republican voters in Miami-Dade County are Hispanic, most of Cuban descent, they are likely already supporting Bush or Rubio.

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Donald Trump has softened his once hard-line stance on Cuba, even though his fellow Republican candidates have voiced opposition to President Barack Obama efforts to strength ties with the Communist island nation.
trump, softens, hard-line, stance, cuba
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2015-12-11
Friday, 11 Sep 2015 07:12 AM
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