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Marco Rubio’s Cold War Approach to Cuba Is Losing Him Voters

Marco Rubio’s Cold War Approach to Cuba Is Losing Him Voters
Polls show that most Cuban Americans favor warming ties between the two
—By Sam Brodey | Wed May 13, 2015 6:03 AM EDT

Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) probably thought that
his hawkish, Cold War foreign policy would endear him to Cuban
Americans—but he may be in for an unwelcome surprise. Cuba policy is
close to Rubio’s heart—his parents fled the country in 1956—and he has
denounced the Obama administration’s détente with the Castro regime as
“disgraceful” and “willfully ignorant.” Historically, this kind of
rhetoric has earned Republicans support among Cuban Americans. But polls
suggest that things have changed, and that Rubio’s strident Cuba outlook
could damage his standing among a constituency that has buoyed his
political career.

Every year since 1991, Florida International has surveyed
Cuban Americans’ attitudes on US-Cuba policy. The most recent poll,
taken in 2014, reveals that those who took to Miami’s streets in
December 2014 to protest the US restoring relations with Cuba are in the
minority: 52 percent of poll respondents oppose continuing the ,
and 68 percent favor the reestablishment of diplomatic relations. More
than 70 percent say the embargo has worked poorly. How Cuban Americans
of different ages responded reveals a stark generational split: A
majority of those aged 65 and older still favor the embargo, but
two-thirds of those aged 18 to 29 oppose it. Nearly 90 percent of
millennial Cuban Americans favor reestablishing ties too.

For the 43-year-old Rubio, who is trying to brand himself as a new
generation of Republican, this could be a problem. According to
Guillermo Grenier, a Cuban studies expert at FIU, Rubio’s Cuba policy
“doesn’t have legs” for the future. “People are changing. Rubio’s
position will resonate among a certain percentage of the population—a
shrinking percentage.” The younger generation, Grenier says, “say things
like, ‘How can Rubio be against the embargo—doesn’t he know it hurts
Cubans on the island?'”

Not long ago, candidates of both parties had to reassure Cuban Americans
of their anti-Castro bona fides. Obama, as a candidate in 2008,
addressed an audience of Cuban Americans and promised to maintain the
embargo unless several conditions were met. Now, Grenier says, those
days are drawing to a close. Politicians such as Rep. Ileana
Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who built a decades-long career out of
antagonizing the regime, did not challenge Obama’s decision to take Cuba
off the official list of state sponsors of terror earlier this year. And
even though Cuba remains far from being a free democracy, most Cuban
Americans believe that US policy has made things worse.

As Cuba continues to play a larger role in foreign policy debates, Rubio
may have to tread lightly—strategically “not emphasizing his views” in
some situations, Grenier says. But it will be hard to downplay a career
of fiery anti-communist Cuba rhetoric. On Fox News, Rubio called the
December 2014 swap that began the recent diplomatic warming
“absurd.” He went on to describe it as “part of a long record of
coddling dictators and tyrants that this administration has
established.” And Rubio is likely to mention recent Cuba developments
during his major policy address today at the Council on Foreign
Relations in New York.

But Rubio is unlikely to moderate his position. In December, he said
defiantly: “I don’t care if the polls show that 99 percent of people
believe we should normalize relations in Cuba.”

Source: Marco Rubio’s Cold War Approach to Cuba Is Losing Him Voters |
Mother Jones –

One Response to Marco Rubio’s Cold War Approach to Cuba Is Losing Him Voters

  • Marco Rubio is not losing the Cuban-American vote. The liberal media is spinning tales. Many Cuban-Americans are outraged by the latest betrayal. Cuban exiles and dissidents know that a Democrat in the White House spells doom for democracy and democratic reforms throughout the world. Right now, compared to other GOP challengers, Marco Rubio stands out as a man with integrity, who is pro-family, knowledgeable in foreign policy, and a defender of freedom.

    Obama’s rapprochement with Castro is one of the most shameful, embarrassing chapters in U.S. history. Obama is sorely lacking in the character traits that make Rubio shine. Good-riddance, Obama! Your reign is almost mercifully over.

    Readers: Ignore the authors of articles such as these. They are paid to spin lies and cater to the leftists that have infiltrated the highest echelons of government. Cuban-Americans have been unjustly vilified in the media long enough. Vote for the right candidate in 2016!

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