Tillerson would recommend veto of bill ending Cuba embargo

The Washington ExaminerSecretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that he wouldn’t support legislation to end the U.S. embargo against Cuba, a major goal of the Obama administration that now seems likely to go unfulfilled for the next several years.

The Obama administration did all it could to ease trade and travel restrictions against Cuba, but the embargo against the island nation is federal law, and can only be undone through an act of Congress. But Tillerson indicated he wouldn’t support any such move on his watch.

“If a bill were to pass Congress that would remove the U.S. embargo against Cuba, and there hasn’t been democratic changes on the island of Cuba, would you advise the president to veto a bill that lifted the embargo on Cuba?” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., asked Tillerson at his confirmation hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“If confirmed, yes I would,” Tillerson replied. Later in the hearing, Tillerson reiterated President-elect Trump’s assertion that the Cuban government got what it wanted in its negotiations with President Obama, but ordinary Cuban people got nothing in the way of political or human rights reforms. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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