Friday, July 10, 2015

Would Marco Rubio Roll Back Cuba Changes?

I'm quoted in this story about Marco Rubio's position on Cuba policy. He is setting himself apart but not only opposing Obama's changes but by saying he will roll them back if he becomes president.

I don't think he actually would. If he is elected president, he won't take office until the beginning of 2017. By then people will be accustomed to the changes in Cuba policy. That includes both U.S. citizens and Latin Americans. He would have to start his presidency by alienating a large chunk of his own electorate and ensuring that U.S.-Latin American relations would be tarnished for the next four years. Now, that's certainly possible, but there would be enough potential backlash to make him think twice.

What also occurs to me is that I am not even sure this message is going to matter much in the primaries. As my quote gets at, Cuba is just wrapped up in a bigger package of Obama foreign policy criticism. Most people will not vote on Cuba, and those who do increasingly are unpredictable. Many Cuban Americans wants engagement, and many non-Cuban American Republicans want the freedom to trade with whomever they want.


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