A Cuban dissident caught in a political frenzy over his appearance in a campaign commercial for Miami Rep. Joe Garcia praised the Democratic congressman in a series of interviews this week for listening to his views on the U.S. trade embargo.
Guillermo Fariñas said he was impressed last year when Garcia paid attention to, and later followed up with, the dissident over his opposition to selling Cuban prescription drugs in the U.S. -- a move Fariñas told several television stations could undermine the embargo, which he supports. So does Garcia.
Fariñas didn't go into detail, so it was difficult to know exactly what he and the congressman discussed. Was Fariñas suggesting Garcia backtracked on a push he made last year, first reported by the Miami Herald, to allow a Havana research institute to hold trials for a diabetes drug in the U.S.?
Garcia's campaign said the congressman maintains his support for the trial, which was approved on a limited basis. The Cuban drugmaker chose not to pursue it because the approval had not guarantee of future permission to sell any medication here.
The congressman had not sought that additional approval, but it was that broader issue he discussed with Fariñas, his campaign clarified -- not the drug trial itself.