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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Charlie Crist explains why he wants to visit Cuba: 'This policy has not worked'

Charlie Crist minces no words describing the government of Cuba: "It's oppressive. It's anti-free-press. It's totalitarian. It's wrong."

But the likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee wants to visit Florida's communist neighbor this summer and says it's past time to lift the United States' 53-year-old Cuba trade embargo.

"The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. This policy has not worked," Crist told the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald in an interview Friday, explaining for the first time the thinking behind his plans.

The controversial trip — panned by Republican Gov. Rick Scott as a public relations coup for the Castro regime — would be a first for such a high-profile Florida candidate, and it may not happen at all if the Department of State or Cuban government reject the idea. The former Republican governor said he is optimistic after submitting his request to the Department of State two weeks ago.

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[Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2014 5:58pm]

    

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