« Gov. Rick Scott keeps school data promise, compromises on economic development agency | Main | Bad timing alert: Jim Greer trial bashing GOP could dovetail with Republican Tampa convention »

Marco Rubio bashes U.S. foreign policy toward Nicaragua, Cuba and Alan Gross

Speaking to reporters Friday, Sen. Marco Rubio criticized the Obama administration's foreign policy toward Nicaragua and Cuba.

Rubio, who sits on the Senate foreign relations committee, took questions at Kristi House, an agency for children victims of sexual abuse, where he went to highlight the problem of human trafficking.

"In Nicaragua they just stole the election," Rubio said, calling it "an illegal election, an election that went against that country's constitution." "They ignored the laws that said Mr. Ortega could not run again. And this country has done absolutely nothing. This administration has done absolutely nothing."

Then he moved on to Cuba.

"There is a man named Alan Gross who is imprisoned in Cuba without committing any crime. An American citizen. There has not been a single consequence" on behalf of the U.S. government, Rubio said. "On the other hand, this administration, during the years Alan Gross has been imprisoned, has simply opened more toward Cuba, giving more benefits and more concessions to the Cuban government."

Lastly, Rubio spoke in favor of funding pro-democracy organizations, presumably such as radio and TV Martí. (Update: A Rubio spokesman has emailed us to say the senator was referring to USAID pro-democracy programs, not radio and TV Martí.)

"They have taken funds from programs that have been proven to confront and oppose the Castro tyranny. They are giving funds through a mysterious process," Rubio said.

"I simply ask that they respond to these things, and if they are not going to respond, I am not going to cooperate with them on these things that they're asking from me."

Earlier this week, Rubio announced his opposition to three State Department nominees, including the official who would be responsible for the U.S.'s relationship with Cuba.

Update #2: Gross came up in the White House's daily press briefing Friday, pegged to the two-year anniversary of Gross's detention Saturday.

Here's a transcript of what spokesman Jay Carney told McClatchy Washington Bureau reporter Steve Thomma:

"As you know, Steve, tomorrow will mark the two-year anniversary of the unjustified detention of Alan Gross by Cuban authorities. Our deepest sympathies are with Mr. Gross and his family and friends, who have suffered tremendously during this ordeal. It is past time for Mr. Gross to return home to his family where he belongs. 

Cuban authorities have failed in their effort to use Mr. Gross as a pawn for their own ends. They must heed the call of Mr. Gross’s family and friends, the international community and the United States to immediately release Mr. Gross.

Mr. Gross is a dedicated international development worker who has devoted his life to helping people in more than 50 countries. His work in Cuba was to support the free flow of information to, from and among the Cuban people, in support of Cuban civil society. And we remain steadfast in our support for Cuban society and the desire of the Cuban people to determine their own future.

Then there was a follow-up question: Will President Barack Obama make a personal appeal on Gross's behalf?

"I don’t want to announce -- make any announcements about what he may or may not be saying, or statements he might issue."

--MARC CAPUTO AND PATRICIA MAZZEI

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Richard Cheeseman

The arrogant stupidity of the US ruling class sometimes beggars belief.

They can straight-facedly describe as "stolen" competitive elections in which the winner clearly won the overwhelming support of the voting population (but not of the US regime).

And they can say that their imperialist political interference "programs ... have been proven to confront and oppose the Castro tyranny" and in the same breath that their covert agent caught working in Cuba is "imprisoned in Cuba without committing any crime."

The US empire bans all interference in its own politics by covert foreign agents, not just that directed at unconstitutional regime change like the US interference in Cuba. Cuba's laws outlawing US subversion on its territory are equally definite.

But for fanatical US imperialists like Mr Rubio, Cuban law simply doesn't apply even in Cuba. In Rubio's tiny head, what passes for US legality simply rules everywhere. As a deranged believer in the US empire's official cult of its own imperial power, the reality of the US status as just one country among many is completely invisible to him.

Even more striking than Rubio's individual hubristic lunacy is that the US official religion of imperialist narcissism is unquestioned orthodoxy for the entire US ruling class including its conformist media, so that the grandiose delusions, criminal threats and grotesque lies of Rubio and his ilk remain effectively unchallenged in US public discourse.

It's taken for granted that the empire has the right and the capability to impose its political choices everywhere else, even though in mundane reality it clearly has neither the right nor the capability.

Such is the power of religious delusion.

Sanson

Enjoyed your comments. Could you elaborate on theme of religion? Do you just mean fanaticism or are getting at something else?

Thanks.

Nica

Communist,Communist,Communist. It is obvious that you have not had a taste of it. What don't you go live there(Cuba or Nicaragua) to see if you have freedom of speech, freedom of the press and other important rights. They call themselves protectors of the poor. Yeah right!

Richard Cheeseman

Sorry, Sanson, I tried to explain about the US official religion of itself, but I was censored ... for blasphemy.

Joe King

It is hard to me to have anything but an attitude of indifference to the cuban immigrants who stand here demanding the US invest men and treasure to win back the country they abandoned. This indifference mounts as I watch citizens in countries with rulers with a far worse record of suppressing human rights place themselves in harm's way for their own freedom. These countries also have far larger and better equipped militaries then some impoverished island with minimal resources.
It is easier for Mark Red to stand in safety, demanding government cut expenditures except that areas that impact his true homeland and put money in his friends' pockets that run these inconsequential frauds.

Milton Sanchez-Parodi

Richard Cheeseman's comments reflects the facts much more than the continuing fiction of Rubio. If any elections were stolen in the recent past were the votes in Dade County during Gore vs Bush and the elections in Honduras. The Nicaraguan people finally turned the country for the farm of Somoza financed by the USA to a sovereign nation. The senator form the Republic of Miami, Marco Rubio in his ignorance, is wishing to turn back the clock promoting USAID as the imperial arm of the US to interfere in other countries internal affairs. Democracy does not need the money or guns form the US to flourish. The Cuban people have shown that time and again these past 52 years.

Rich Haney

Sean Hannity and other right-wingers (I'm a conservative Republican but not a right-winger) pundits will get there wish and have the one-trick pony Rubio (anti-Castro, Bush stooge) a Republican VP and later Presidential candidate, revealing the incredible depths to which our two-party political system has sunk. Hannity sickens the media and Rubio demeans politics...and we democracy-lovers are supposed to quietly acept it all and bow before them. People like Richard Cheeseman and Milton Sanchez-Parodi at least represent intelligence, concern, and decency -- three elements the Hannitys and Rubios democracy want no part of.

Rich Haney

(Correcting) Sean Hannity and other right-wingers will get their wish and have the one-trick pony Rubio (anti-Castro, Bush stooge) become a Republican VP candidate in 2012 and later a presidential candidate, revealing the incredible depths to which our two-party political system has sunk. (I'm a lifelong conservative Republican but not a right-winger). Hannity sickens the media and Rubio demeans politics, and we democracy-lovers are supposed to quietly accept it all and bow before them. People like Richard Cheeseman and Milton Sanchez-Parodi at least represent intelligence, concern, and decency -- three elements the Hannitys and Rubios want no part of.

Juan Fonseca

Richard Cheeseman, I'm a Nicaragua and I can tell you that absolutely 100% sure, the elections were aFRAUD.. the Candidate violated the constitution to run, since the constitution prohibits a candidate to run for the presidency in back to back terms, and also prohibits a president that has served for a total of 2 terms to run again. So they wiped their bahinds with the laws and orchestrated the biggest fraud in Nicaragua, USA need to do something about it, somebody has to stand behind the people of Nicaragua. and it's impossible for Ortega to get those votes without having to steal them, they have never received over 45% of votes, and getting over 65% is just a slap in the face of us Nicaraguans and an open violation of human rights and universal rights.

Neha

Cuba Solidarity Campaign - Democracy. Before 1959 the Cuban population was just under 7 miloiln and life expectancy was 58 . In 1959 23.6% of the population over the age of 10 was illiterate. ..Cutting Cuban American Travel: A 93pay phone policy94 in a cell .... Jul 8, 2011 . Statistics released by Cuba's National Statistics Office (ONE) show that the island's population is continuing to age, due to a long life ..CUBAN CENSUS BULLETIN.; Total Number of Males of Voting Age in the .... The bulletin reveals the fact that the total number of males of voting age in Cuba being 417993, Is 28 per cent, of the total population, or just 1 per cent ..Cuba's Elderly Population Reaches Two Million in 2011. Jul 11, 2011 . They represent 17.8 percent of Cuba's total population and exceed the number of people in the 10-19 age groups. ..Cuba Zip Codes. People in Cuba, NY. Population, 1581. Pop. Density, 1327.8. Pop. Change, -3.18%. Median Age, 38.6. Households, 633. Household Size, 2.36 ..Cuba City, Wisconsin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Cuba City is a city in Grant and Lafayette Counties in the U.S. state of . In the city the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, ..International Programs - Information Gateway - U.S. Census Bureau. Jun 27, 2011 . The IDB has provided access to demographic data for over 25 years to . Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark . Total Midyear Population, Midyear Population by Age and Sex ..

The comments to this entry are closed.