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Crist on thawing relations with Cuba: 'Not sure at this point'

Gov. Charlie Crist, a potential candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010, was characteristically non-commital Friday about the Obama administration's recent overtures to Cuba and its decision this week to allow family members to travel back to the island.

"What they're talking about, I guess I would agree with Sen. Martinez is something that should be reviewed and given due consideration,'' Crist said. U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, a Republican whom Crist is considering replacing, commended the administration "for wanting to get out of the way of family reunification." But Martinez urged the administraiton not to change its policy without significant changes that include the practice of the government pocketing 20 percent of the remittances families send their loved ones on the island.

Crist added: "I think it's also important that we remain mindful that there are journalists and others that are still in prison on that island and freedom is something that we hope for in the form of a democratically-elected leadership on Cuba and I still pray for that.''

Did Obama go too far? "I'm not sure at this point,'' Crist said. "But if we can get a good information flow to the island about what democracy is about, about what freedom represents, about what freedom of speech is all about that would be a very positive thing."