Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Marco Rubio Hypes His Cuba Hearing

The Cuba Sonic Attack issue is one of the weirdest things I've heard of in a long time (I posted in September and October if you want some background). Marco Rubio has been hot on this issue and called a hearing that is going on right now. There are three witnesses for the hearing--the acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, someone from the State Department's diplomatic security team, and State's medical director.

You can read their testimony here. It will take you approximately two minutes to read all three because they're far more brief than most testimony you see. What they mostly say is that they don't know what's going on. That is to their credit. Senator Rubio wants to make this into a crisis. He went on Fox and Friends to hype it. He issued a statement to claim credit for his tenacity:

Following pressure from Rubio, the State Department expelled a number of Cuban operatives from the U.S. after American diplomats were forced to leave Cuba as a result of the Havana attacks. Rubio has also pushed back on the idea that the Cuban government, which tightly controls and monitors the island, denies knowing anything about the attacks that injured at least 24 American diplomatic personnel.

This is old school "get tough on Cuba" talk, in which Rubio is well versed. It stands in odd contrast to the (thankfully) measured message of Rex Tillerson and the Trump administration, which has not tried to sensationalize it. I can't think of what audience this appeals to beyond the typical hard-line anti-Castro type.


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