Memo to those assembling the GOP platform for the upcoming Republican National Convention: Don't say restrictions on Cuba trade aren't a plank when it is.
A GOP platform that mentions support for the Cuban embargo isn't news. It's like Republicans affirming their support for tax cuts. A GOP platform without Cuba? That's news. Very big news.
So when the Los Angeles Times today attended an RNC platform meeting and two Republican officials mentioned that Cuba wasn't part of the platform, it obviously was news. Very big news. After all, Republican vice-presidential pick Paul Ryan had an anti-embargo voting record until about 2007, Republican Cuba experts say. After that, they say, Ryan became more pro-embargo (more here).
Mitt Romney's campaign quickly responded to the story by noting that the platform does include language that supports restrictions on Cuba. And they blame the story on supporters of Congressman Ron Paul, a free-trader.
"Alternatively, we will stand with the true democracies of the region against both Marxist subversion and the drug lords, helping them to become prosperous alternatives to the collapsing model of Venezuela and Cuba.
That's pretty standard, boilerplate stuff.
However there is one possible omission: The platform doesn't explicitly call for reversing the executive decision of President Obama that allowed for more travel to Cuba.
Romney's camp, including Cuba-crackdown leader and former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, says no additional language is needed, in great part because Romney's campaign notes that he explicitly opposes Obama's executive decision to loosen travel and remittances to Cuba.