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Tillerson: U.S. has not held Cuba 'accountable' in reengagement


President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state, Exxon Mobil Chief Executive Rex Tillerson, told the U.S. Senate in the opening to his confirmation hearing Wednesday that Cuba has not done enough to protect human rights since reestablishing diplomatic relations with the U.S.

"We we must adhere to standards of accountability," Tillerson said. "Our recent engagement with the government of Cuba was not accompanied by any significant concessions on human rights. We have not held them accountable for their conduct. Their leaders received much, while their people received little. That serves neither the interest of Cubans or Americans.

"Abraham Lincoln declared that America is 'the last best hope of Earth,'" he continued. "Our moral light must not go out if we are to remain an agent of freedom for mankind. Supporting human rights in our foreign policy is a key component of clarifying to a watching world what America stands for."

The hearing continues Wednesday, and will include questioning from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.