Inhofe’s Statement on President Obama’s Visit to Cuba

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement in response to President Obama beginning his three-day visit to communist Cuba, the first visit from a sitting U.S. president since 1928:

“President Obama’s visit to Cuba is solidifying a legacy of foreign policy bent towards appeasing dictators and turning a blind eye to oppressive regimes. His visit will not advance America’s security or end the more than 50-year reign of the Castro brothers’ brutal dictatorship.  The president's visit instead legitimizes their communist reign, provides Cuba with priceless propaganda photos, and opens additional funding sources that will most heavily benefit the government before the people. Since the president first announced his intent to normalize relations with Cuba, the government has jailed 8,000 political protestors and made no effort to address the $7 billion in unpaid legal claims Cuba owes American property owners. I continue to oppose normalizing relations with this one-party communist state. It would have been in the better interest of Cubans and of our own national security if any concessions with Cuba had required Cuba to conduct free and fair elections, allow freedom of the press and freedom of speech, end assisting North Korea evade U.N. sanctions, and end the harboring of terrorists and criminals. Instead, President Obama is opening up new economic gains that will benefit the communist party and leave our national security more vulnerable in an increasingly dangerous world.”

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