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Martinez and Menendez assail Cuba moves

Senators Mel Martinez and Robert Menendez are waving the caution flag over congressional attempts to weaken the trade embargo against Cuba, with Menendez taking to the Senate floor to note "without seeing any progress whatsoever on the part of the regime, it's hard to see why we should be looking for more opportunities to make additional concessions."

President Barack Obama's overtures to Cuba have enlivened the debate in Congress on boosting American travel and trade with the island with a contingent of farm-state senators expected to soon introduce legislation aimed at boosting agricultural trade with the island. But Raul Castro Wednesday discounted the administration's moves, saying the US still needs to lift the embargo.

"We have traded concessions and gotten only rhetoric in return," Menendez said. "We have extended our hand, while the Cuban regime maintains its iron-handed clenched fist. We cannot allow ourselves to start down a slippery slope of relaxing restrictions, that only winds up allowing the Castro regime to strengthen the iron fist by which it rules."