The Republican team of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan has revealed a get tough policy against the Venezuelan and Cuban governments. On Tuesday, September 18, Romney criticized the Obama administration for the Democratic policy that Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez poses little threat to the United States. Romney then made a quick segue from Venezuela to Hezbollah, terrorism, and Iran. He called the Latin American socialist country a surrogate and proxy for Iran, adding that Venezuela, "Would...have access to weapons that could be used against us.” On Wednesday, September 19, the Republican National Committee distributed a video of Obama and Chavez shaking hands in 2009 at the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago for use in the anti-Obama campaign.
While it is true that Obama told a Miami talk show host in mid-September that Venezuela poses no serious threat to the national security of the United States, we keep in mind Obama’s consistent approach to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, that we don’t aid Chavez in portraying himself as a major player in anti-American posturing. Washington consistently avoids confrontational stances in dealing with Venezuela. Democrats agree that Caracas and Washington are not in conflict. Earlier disagreements have diminished, and we have an understanding as to the avoidance of meddling in one another’s elections.
Today,vice presidentiial candidate Rep. Paul Ryan spoke to an assembly of anti-Castro voters in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. Ryan assailed President Obama for “appeasement” of the Cuban government. Prior to 2007, Ryan was known as a “free trader.” He opposed all sanctions against any nation, anywhere in the world, including Cuba. Since 2007, Ryan has made statements while in Congress mentioning the "brutal realities" of the Castros. He feels that trade with Cuba would be neither free nor fair. The Cuban people would not benefit, only the oppressive Cuban government would gain. In 2007, he opposed efforts to end funding for the Cuba democracy programs. He went on to withdraw his name from a bill which would have allowed unrestricted travel between the United States and Cuba,
Let me tell you this, in a Mitt Romney administration we will not keep practicing this policy of appeasement, we will be tough on this brutal dictator, all it has done is reward more despotism. We will help those pro-democracy groups; we will be tough on Castro, tough on Chavez.. And it’s because we know that’s the right policy for our country.
Ryan told the crowd at the overflowing restaurant that his friends in Congress, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, also present, gave him a “great education” as to the need to “clamp down” on the Castro regime. He referred to Fidel Castro as a “brutal dictator.” This anti-Cuban sentiment marks a 180 degree about face in his position in the last several years.