Changes To Cuba Policy Met With Mixed Reactions
President Donald Trump’s changes to the United States’ policy on Cuba, which tighten restrictions on travel and business transactions between countries, have been met with mixed reactions by congressional Republicans.
Proponents of the adjustments argue it’s necessary for the U.S. to take a stand against the Castro regimes’ humanitarian violations. But critics argue it will have a negative impact on the people of Cuba and the U.S. economy.
It’s evident the Cuban people are starting to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and recognize capitalism — which he feels could be hindered once the new policy is implemented, according to GOP Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas, who recently traveled to Cuba. He noted the U.S. has relations with multiple other countries with military-controlled regimes, adding he believes the policy changes are reflective of a dated viewpoint.
“I think it’s in our strategic interest long-term, what we have there now is a void of leadership, a void of economic direction that’s being killed by Russia, China, North Korea and Iran and other nations,” Crawford told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “They don’t have the interest of the United States or our well-being — in fact, they have an invested interest in undermining the United States. So why would we allow them to carve out a stronger niche every day in the absence of U.S. economic engagement? We just can’t sit back and watch from the beach in Key West.”
Crawford said while he wished former President Barack Obama has involved Congress more while implementing his administration’s Cuba policy, it largely had a positive impact on both countries.
“I think this [Trump’s changes] probably kind of built on the opinion of a small minority — a very vocal small minority, but a small minority nonetheless,” he said. “You know we feel like we’ve made some great progress and building up support, making a pretty compelling case about what our objectives were why, and so this seems a little obtuse.”
Supporters of the new policy say the change will have a positive impact on the Cuban people since it’s aimed at preventing funds from going to the Cuban military.
Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida dismissed the argument the U.S. should continue to strengthen relations with Cuba due to its business dealings with other repressive countries.
“It’s a dramatic change dramatic change from a policy that frankly was helping to fund the Castro dictatorship’s military and intelligence services to a policy that helps support the Cuban people and stops the funding to those entities,” he told TheDCNF.”But here’s the interesting thing, we have sanctions against North Korea, we have sanctions against Iran — even though they were greatly weakened by the previous administration — we have sanctions used in specific cases,” Diaz-Balart continued.
Diaz-Balart said it’s “ludicrous” to have policies in place that fund a government that is repressing its people.
“Here’s the interesting thing, we have sanctions against North Korea, we have sanctions against Iran — even though they were greatly weakened by the previous administration — we have sanctions used in specific cases,” he continued. “In the case of this hemisphere, where democracy is the only legitimate form of government according to the OAS [Organization of American States], in this hemisphere it’s in our national security interest not to fund what the Obama administration called the fourth most aggressive, most-effective espionage network on the entire planet.”
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