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Romney and Ryan Get Tough on Venezuela and Cuba

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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.

Obama has taken the position that policies should be emplaced to allow families and some groups to travel and send money to Cuba.

Photos: SunSentinental, Telegraph UK

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • CTL

    Give me a break, that region has been a dead issue since 9/11. Its reprehensible for these two clowns to be trying to make some ink for themselves by drumming up some phony issues in South America. What is Romney’s end game here, start nation building in South America ?

  • CTL

    Furthermore, nobody cares about Cuba, they were left to rot 50 years ago, short of a military invaision and forcing a regime change there is nothing we can do. They are a broken down country stuck in the late 60’s and pose no threat to anyone but themselves. Seriously where the hell are Romney and Ryan going with all this.

  • jd

    Really, while you’re in Miami, you suddenly mention the Castros. Ryan was re-educated about Cuba? I guess he’ll also feel the same about communist China. That dinner was paid for by the Cuban mafia.

  • St

    Romney and Ryan are way off base!! They don’t even address the real concerns that many Cubans in America face. How about addressing why the United States of America believes in returning exiles of Cuba back to Castro. The very same “brutal dictator” these Cubans rebelled against for are being deported back to Cuba and according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, America doesnt need to obtain travel documents from Cuba to send dissidents back. For instance, the Cuban Five, why are they being held indefinately by America for their fight for freedom against Castro? My husband was just deported back to Cuba after being here for the last thirty years because the United States made some kind of trade. Just goes to show Humanitarian rights are unimportant no matter what kind of government your from!! I don’t even now if he is still alive because the United States changed his name and sent him back to Cuba as an assine to Castro’s regime almost as if it were a joke!
    No matter, Cuba is on the United States “terrist list” and the only ones paying for it is the Cuban people who are stuck in the middle of this bipolar relationship. That was the reason why ICE wouldn’t let him go because my husband was a national from a “terrist country”, Cuba!! So to all the Cubans that are in America today watch your backs because Obama is discriminating against the Cubans and having immigration and customs enforcement detain any Cuban they find, permenat resident or not doesn’t matter! The U.S. government wants to send the Cubans back…. But you won’t find this information in the Miami Herald or any news station because they all have their hands in the cookie jar. Bought and payed for by the U.S. government, just like Castro in Cuba….. Im sure anybody can see the similarities if you know anything about Cuban history!

  • Roy

    I am in favor of Romney, but these statements display a severe lack of understanding about the current political situation in Latin America.

    The only thing standing between Cuba and a complete financial melt-down is Venezuela, who has been subsidizing Cuba with free oil and other financial assistance.

    Venezuela is approaching an election on Oct. 7, in which the Opposition has a very good chance of un-seating Hugo Chavez. The LAST thing that the Opposition needs is to allow Chavez to stir up fears of American “imperialism” and intervention. This sort of rhetoric plays right into the hands of Chavez. Romney should no better, by now, then upset U.S. delicate foreign policy matters by making statements such as this.

  • Shawn

    I guess we only hate dictators in the Mideast since we allow NATO to bomb them and use drones to over throw repressed people and kill dictators.

    But we have a hands off policy in Latin America, the people of Cuba and Venezuela are on their own. We only support Muslim Brotherhood take over of countries.

    Thanks for clearing that up!

  • Deano

    This isn’t about Cuba or Venezuela, its about the Cuban vote bloc in Florida.

    Anti-Castroism is sort of a “must-have” in Florida for locking up the Cuban vote, so every few years, when the election cycle comes around, the anti-Cuban rhetoric heats up in order to mobilize the Cubanos in Florida. This is kind of a GOP touchstone…has no relevancy or impact beyond the rhetoric and the posturing and disappears six minutes after the election, no matter who wins.

  • Shawn

    I believe you, democrats “avoid” talking about how they love Cuba Castro every 4 years. “After” elections the liberals fly there for their photo op with Castro.