Rubio-Clinton Skirmish on Cuba

Senator Marcos Rubio. Photo:

A preview of what might be to come in 2016

HAVANA TIMES – Sen. Marco Rubio harshly criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday, after she revealed in her memoirs that she had recommended to President Barack Obama to end the economic embargo on Cuba, reported dpa news.

While Cuba policy is usually a non-issue in US presidential election campaigns (except in Florida) the possibility that Clinton and Rubio could end up facing each other in the 2016 elections might make the embargo a national topic of debate.

“Now we see how far Secretary Clinton came to undermine the defenders of democracy in Cuba to try to help the Castro regime get more dollars with which to continue their repression,” Rubio said.

The Florida senator considered it “astonishing” that Hillary Clinton wrote in her memoirs that the embargo on the island, enacted in 1960 by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower against the government of Fidel Castro, has impeded progress of the US policy agenda in Latin America.

“The truth is that this administration has no coherent agenda for Latin America,” said Rubio, who said that the only agenda that Obama has in the region is “alienating our allies and allowing our adversaries to ruthlessly trample the democratic aspirations of their peoples.”

The Republican senator added, “the disasters we see today in the foreign policy of President Obama are the fruits of the seeds planted by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.”

“No surprise here,” said Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen the diehard anti-Castro advocate, on her Twitter account, after some of the contents of the memoirs of the former first lady were revealed.

Cover of the soon to be released memoirs of Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton advised Obama to end the half century plus economic embargo on Cuba saying it has only given Fidel and Raul Castro an excuse not to make democratic reforms and “someone to blame for the economic problems of Cuba,” according to extracts from her memoirs leaked to the press.

The former head of US diplomacy explains in her autobiography that she urged Obama to reconsider the embargo because “is not achieving its objectives” and “is obstructing the scope of our agenda in Latin America.”

Hillary Clinton’s autobiography, entitled “Hard Choices,” will be released on June 10 in the United States, but some US media obtained a copy and revealed some details, including her controversial statements on the Cuba embargo.

Her memoirs are being examined closely by the US press, even more so because the former first lady is considered one of the favorites to be the Democratic candidate in the 2016 election.

For his part, Marcos Rubio is one of several potential candidates for the Republican nomination.

84 thoughts on “Rubio-Clinton Skirmish on Cuba

  • June 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Again, you have the sequence of events wrong.

    February, 1960: Cuba signed a cultural exchange deal with the USSR, along with a side agreement to sell sugar in exchange for Russian oil.

    June, 1960: Two US (& 1 UK) owned refineries refused to process the Russian oil. Cuba nationalizes the refineries.

    July, 1960: Cuba nationalizes all US owned properties in Cuba. Two days later, the US cuts off 95% of Cuban sugar exports to the US. The USSR announce they will buy all of the Cuban sugar, in exchange for more oil, and secretly, for military assistance.

    In the back-and-forth of events, one can see a steadily escalating confrontation between the US & Cuba, which was eventually to culminate in the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis. In retrospect, we know that Castro had anticipated the hamfisted US response to the Revolution and he carefully calibrated his actions to simultaneously antagonize the Americans while drawing in the USSR for economic and military assistance.

  • June 11, 2014 at 10:06 am

    the embargo was imposed when US owned refineries were told not to process oil coming from the soviet bloc. we quickly ended sugar subsidies and tried to sink the cuban economy as we later did with chile under allende. fortunately cuba had another option.

  • June 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Like other previous Presidents who had indicated a desire to lift the embargo once they get into office and read the full intelligence file on the Castros, the next president will drop any notion of lifting the embargo.

  • June 10, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Several US presidents have indeed called for democracy and human rights in the Middle East, China, North Korea, Burma, Belarus and other despotic states. The US is not in a state of hostility with Saudi Arabia. However, the US was instrumental in eliminating the dictatorships of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The Syrian dictatorship of Bashir Al-Assad, a good friend and ally of the Castros, is currently butchering the Strian people for having the temerity of calling for democracy.

    Apologists do the Castro dictatorship are not defenders of democracy and stand on shakey ground when attacking the US for inconsistancy.

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