Incoming Congressman Says President's Move On Cuba Rewards Dictators

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In the U.S., there are some who are not happy with President Barack Obama's announcement that the U.S. and Cuba will restore diplomatic ties.

Incoming Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo of Florida called the move "reckless" in a statement. He told Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson that the move rewards dictators and does not help the Cuban people.

Curbelo takes office next month to represent southern Florida's 26th congressional district. His parents are Cuban exiles who fled the country under Fidel Castro in the 1960s.

Interview Highlights

On why he opposes restoring ties with Cuba

“What has the Castro government done to deserve these unilateral concessions? I can tell you a few things they’ve done in recent years. Last year, they were caught shipping arms, illegally, to North Korea. They continue oppressing their own people — imprisoning those that disagree with them politically. This is the reward that the Obama administration gives the Cuban government for all of this conduct.”

On the president's argument that the status quo was not working 

“The purpose of our sanctions policy was never regime change. I never thought that American sanctions against Cuba would topple the Castro government. Cuba will change whenever the Cuban people get rid of the Castros or the Castros are out of the picture. But for over 50 years, the occupant of the White House — no matter Republican or Democrat — has stood in solidarity with the Cuban people, with the victims of the regime.”


This segment aired on December 18, 2014.


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