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Lost in translation: GOP platform DOES include Cuba travel restrictions

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.

"We affirm our friendship with the People of Cuba and look toward their reunion with the rest of our hemispheric family. The anachronistic regime in Havana which rules them is a mummified relic of the age of totalitarianism, a state-sponsor of terrorism. We reject any dynastic succession of power within the Castro family and affirm the principles codified in U.S. law as conditions for the lifting of trade, travel, and financial sanctions: the legalization of political parties, an independent media, and free and fair internationally-supervised elections. We renew our commitment to Cuba’s courageous pro-democracy movement as the protagonists of Cuba’s inevitable liberation and democratic future. We call for a dedicated platform for the transmission of Radio and TV Marti and for the promotion of Internet access and circumvention technology as tools to strengthen the pro-democracy movement. We support the work of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba and affirm the principles of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, recognizing the rights of Cubans fleeing Communism."

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.

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