Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez railed against the Obama administration Monday for re-establishing diplomatic ties with Cuba as the two nations re-opened embassies in their respective capitals.
According to Politico’s Seung Min Kim, Menendez argued that the opening of the embassies is a sign the Obama administration “continues to validate” the Castro brother’s regime and its “brutal behavior.” He added that the administration is “doubling down on a one-sided deal.”
Menendez guns blazing on Cuban embassy: Admin "continues to validate the Castro regime’s brutal behavior, doubling down on a one-sided deal"
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) July 20, 2015
Menendez’s rhetoric on the opening of the embassies piggy-backed on comments last week, in which he said “democracy and human rights” are taking a “back seat to a legacy initiative” for the administration.
“The message is democracy and human rights take a back seat to a legacy initiative,” he said.
“It is long past due for the United States to require concessions and changes from Cuba and thus far, we have seen neither,” Menendez said. “A policy of the United States giving and the Castro brothers freely taking is not in our national interest and not a responsible approach when dealing with repressive rulers that deny freedoms to its people.”
“Once again the regime is being rewarded while they jail dissidents, silence political opponents and harbor American fugitives and cop killers,” Menendez said.