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GOP dominance in Washington gives Rubio chance to change Cuba thaw

GOP dominance in Washington gives Rubio chance to change Cuba thaw
Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief
Monday, November 14, 2016 12:38am

With Donald Trump and Republican dominance coming to Washington, Sen. Marco Rubio has a sudden opportunity to make a difference on an issue that has defined his career: Cuba.

“Without question, rolling back President Obama’s one-sided concessions to the Castro regime, a key campaign promise shared with President-elect Trump, will be a top priority for Senator Rubio next year,” a spokesman tells the Tampa Bay Times.

“American companies were warned repeatedly not to go into business with the Castro regime. Protecting their profits at the expense of the American people should not be a barrier to President-elect Trump fulfilling a key campaign promise.”

Rubio, who easily won re-election, helping Republicans hold the Senate, will be the third most senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee. The stunning Trump victory gives him more standing to pursue an agenda.

On Cuba, however, Trump’s views are muddy. He has criticized the deal President Obama struck but also expressed support for normalized relations. Rubio’s statement indicates a desire to hold Trump to his campaign promises, some of which are already crumbling.

It won’t be easy for Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants. Polls show the public supports change in Cuba policy, a sentiment that has notably gained footing in Rubio’s Miami. In Washington, there hasn’t been pitched outrage among Republicans at large.

But Rubio now has a real chance to affect the policy. He has said he supports new relations but only if Cuba makes sweeping changes on human rights and other issues.

[Last modified: Monday, November 14, 2016 2:14am]

Source: GOP dominance in Washington gives Rubio chance to change Cuba thaw | Tampa Bay Times – http://www.placead.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/gop-dominance-in-washington-gives-rubio-chance-to-change-cuba-thaw/2302736

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