President Barack Obama’s announcement today that the United States will restore full relations with Cuba is a good start, according to Ron Paul. But he still questions whether Congress will block funding for an American embassy in Havana, and has concerns about the travel and trade embargo.
“It’s about time,” Paul said. “The Americans and the Cubans are signing a document that says that we will have diplomatic relations and that we will have [an] embassy open up in Cuba. That, of course, is something that when I was in office and you helped so much in trying to get better relations with Cuba and move this along. It looks like this is going to happen, but my guess is that it’s not going to be snap our fingers and everything back to normal.”
Paul shared some history of the breakdown of relations between the U.S. and Cuba, recalling a time when the U.S. had an embassy there. It was during the time of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who Paul said had a role in the breakdown of relations through his support of Fulgencio Batista. “It turns out that Batista wasn’t exactly an easy guy to defend,” Paul said, and explained how Batista created a military coup in 1952 with the assistance of the U.S. government—the year Eisenhower was first elected.
Our government may not be involved in Cuba militarily, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t intervening in foreign affairs, Paul explained, saying that we should not get involved in trying to perfect other government systems around the world until the U.S. has achieved its definition of perfect protection of human rights and civil liberties here at home.
Despite his optimism about the embassy and government cooperation, Paul said that it isn’t necessarily the best way to establish relations. “It should be people to people,” he said.
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