Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesday ripped the Obama Administration’s opening of an embassy in Cuba saying that he would shut it down if elected president.
Rubio, who appeared on the Hugh Hewitt Show stated, “We shouldn’t have diplomatic relations with an anti-American, communist dictatorship that continues to oppress it’s own people 90 miles from our shores.”
Hugh Hewitt: I want to talk about Cuba, because it was announced today that the Department of State will not be inviting Cuban dissidents to the reopening of the embassy that John Kerry will preside over. In essence, we’re giving them the back of our hand, Senator Rubio. What do you make of Secretary Kerry’s decision?
Marco Rubio: It doesn’t surprise me one bit, and I wrote him a letter two days ago asking him to meet with them. But this is par for the course with these guys. It doesn’t surprise me at all. They have basically ignored the whole human rights issue. They gave it lip service. They say oh, we remain concerned. Meanwhile, this weekend, dozens of protestors were rounded up and beaten, peaceful protestors, women among them. We have the photos to prove it. Cuba is not going to change until the Cuban government changes. And the Cuban government has flat-out said we are not changing anything. This is not a story about a Cuban government that’s saying we’re in the process of reform, we need time, be patient with us. They have flat-out said nothing is going to change. We’re going to continue to be who we are and do what we do, and so it doesn’t surprise anybody. And as far as Kerry not meeting with them, it’s just par for the course. It’s what they’ve done repeatedly since this whole thing started, and I don’t think they’re genuinely interested in pressing that point.
Hugh: Will you close that embassy if you’re elected president?
Rubio: Yeah, I mean, first of all, the facility is an intersection, so it’ll still be there. It will not be called an embassy when I’m president, because embassies are designed for countries we have diplomatic relations with, and we shouldn’t have diplomatic relations with an anti-American communist dictatorship that continues to oppress its own people 90 miles from our shores. We have now given them international recognition, and what we’re basically saying is your form of government is legitimate. We recognize it as a legitimate form of government that represents the Cuban people. We shouldn’t. I don’t.