WASHINGTON — President Obama called for lifting the embargo on Cuba Tuesday night during his State of the Union, days after lawmakers found out the administration lost an American missile to Cuba.
“Fifty years of isolating Cuba had failed to promote democracy, setting us back in Latin America,” Obama said.
“That’s why we restored diplomatic relations, opened the door to travel and commerce, and positioned ourselves to improve the lives of the Cuban people. You want to consolidate our leadership and credibility in the hemisphere? Recognize that the Cold War is over. Lift the embargo.”
These remarks came as Republicans went after the Obama administration for permitting a missing Hellfire missile to be shipped to Cuba and then not notifying members of Congress about it.
GOP members told The Wall Street Journal last week that a training missile was sent to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 2014. The ordinance ended up being shipped to Cuba, where government officials seized it. Cuba has refused to return the missile, WSJ reports.
During 2015, the administration attempted to ease relations between the Cuban government and the United States, an action Republicans and a handful of Democrats opposed.