House Speaker Paul D. Ryan left little doubt about his current stance on
the Obama administration’s warming ties with the Cuban government. He’s
not a fan.
“The Castros continue to jail pro-democracy activists at a rate of
hundreds per month, yet it is full steam ahead for the Obama
administration’s efforts to appease this oppressive regime,” Ryan said
in a statement Tuesday morning.
It’s a bold statement by the speaker and indicating a leadership strong
position against President Barack Obama’s rapprochement with Cuban and
public campaign to lift the embargo. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican,
blasted the Obama administration’s latest round of regulatory changes
meant to chip away at the U.S. embargo against Cuba and ease trade and
travel with the island nation.
The strong rhetoric by Ryan on Cuba appears to be increasing. Ryan has
spoken out more in recent years against what he’s called “appeasement”
by the Obama administration. It’s a shift after being criticized for his
earlier support for lifting the embargo. In 2002, he called the embargo
a “failed policy,” but has said that his thinking has evolved as Florida
members of Congress, such as Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana
Ros-Lehtinen have helped him understand “just how brutal the Castro
regime is, just how this president’s policy of appeasement is not working.”
The administration’s new directive, which it says supersedes any
previous presidential directives on Cuba, allow greater engagement
between U.S. businesses and Cuba’s state-owned companies, it eliminates
the $100 limit on the value of Cuban rum and cigars that American
travelers can bring back from the island. It also allows online sales of
consumer goods, such as toothpaste and televisions, to Cubans without
requiring U.S. companies to get a prior license.
The White House has defended the rapprochement with Cuba as being within
the president’s legal authority.
But Ryan said allowing such transactions would only finance “the
Castros’ grip on power and jeopardize” property rights of American
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Source: House Speaker Paul Ryan: We’re going to protect U.S. embargo
against Cuba | In Cuba Today –