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Cole Statement on President’s Policy toward Cuba

December 17, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, issued the following statement after President Barack Obama announced steps to “normalize relations” between the United States and Cuba. This policy change comes after Alan Gross, an American contractor who was held captive in Cuba for five years, was released today. In light of this prisoner exchange, the Administration announced that steps ahead will include efforts to re-establish diplomatic relations and open commerce by lifting sanctions. 

“I am very disappointed that the president believes he can reason with a nation ruled by a corrupt dictator,” said Cole. “Time doesn’t change the past or the intentions of the Castro regime, which is set in its Communist ways and now further emboldened to continue mistreating its own people. Unless and until that nation shows promise of embracing democratic ideals and Communism is overthrown, it is dangerous and foolish to place trust in a country that has been designated by the State Department as a sponsor of terrorism. 

“Certainly, we always celebrate the safe return of one of our own. Especially before the holidays, I can only imagine the relief felt by the family of Alan Gross, who was held captive in Cuba for five years. Unfortunately, the president has once again negotiated with known enemies of America and set a dangerous precedent in the process.”