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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Marco Rubio explains why he would roll back relations with Cuba

19

November

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is pledging to bring generational change to Washington. He tells the Associated Press in a new interview how many could view that as contradictory with his calls to reinstate a half-century-old diplomatic freeze that failed to unseat Cuba's communist government. 

The Florida senator sat down for the interview with AP in a hotel in Orlando. He told AP White House correspondent Julie Pace, "People think it's because we're being stubborn or holding on to old policies. I'm prepared to change strategies toward Cuba, but it has to be one that yields results."

In the interview, Rubio said as president he would roll back President Barack Obama's detente with Cuba and downgrade the newly opened American Embassy in Havana to a diplomatic interests section. He also restore tougher limits on U.S. government and business dealings with the island. 

Rubio did say he would be willing to allow U.S. companies to invest in telecommunications in Cuba in exchange for free and unfettered Internet access on the island. The only event in which he could see restoring full diplomatic relations with Havana, he said, would be if the government there allows opposition political parties and gives them freedom to organize.

Rubio also said he is open to modifying the Cuban immigration policy known as the "wet foot, dry foot" policy.

Read the full interview here.

 

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R- Fla., speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Orlando on Nov. 13.

John Raoux | Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R- Fla., speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Orlando on Nov. 13.

[Last modified: Thursday, November 19, 2015 11:43am]

    

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