Cuban Americans for Engagement, decides on statements of Senator Marco Rubio

“Cuban Americans for Engagement rejects these positions reiterating how Rubio and Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) have tried to turn support the embargo against Cuba in a test of strength against several ambassadors and now against potential cabinet members”


On Sunday December 23 COFFEE (Cuban Americans for Engagement) publishes on its website, a statement expressing concern about the attitude of Senator Marco Rubio, threatening to abuse clause “advice and consent” (Advise and Consent) to block a hearing and a vote in the Senate on the possible nomination of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to the post of Secretary of Defense.

Nuevodebatecuba joins the rejection of this position that threatens once more against the development of a rational and constructive policy towards Cuba, which express the national interests of the United States and that great Cuban-American community.

Below the full text of the statement

Statement from CAFE about recent declarations from the office of Senator Marco Rubio about a possible nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

Cuban Americans for Engagement expresses its concern about the recent position by Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) office that is threatening to abuse the Advise and Consent clause in order to block a hearing and a vote in the U.S. Senate regarding the possible nomination of Republican ex-Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) for the Secretary of Defense. Rubio’s Press secretary, Alex Contant, has stated that: “Promoting democracy in Latin America is a priority for Sen. Rubio, and he’s put holds on other administration nominees over the issue. If President Obama were to nominate Sen. Hagel for a cabinet position, I’m sure we would have questions about Cuba positions.” Conant went on to say that “we don’t prejudge the nominations.” The White House said no decisions about the defense secretary position have yet been made.

Cuban Americans for Engagement rejects these postures that Senators Rubio and Robert Menéndez (D-NJ) have repeatedly taken in an attempt to convert support for the embargo against Cuba into an unfair litmus test for various ambassadors, and now, against possible members of the cabinet. If anything represents the positions of John Kerry and Hagel regarding Cuba it is their political courage and integrity in defense of a rational policy regarding the island. A policy that would be more advantageous to the national interests of the United States than the failure that is the embargo. It is worth noting that president Barack Obama referred to the embargo in similar terms as those used by Senator Hagel.

Regardless of whether or not Obama nominates Hagel, nobody should consider Marco Rubio to be a representative of the Cuban-American community on this topic or any other. Cuban Americans for Engagement, a representation of many Cuban-Americans throughout the nation, consider Chuck Hagel, who served with honor and glory and received two Purple Heart medals in Vietnam, an excellent nominee for any post that the president requires. Far from being a demerit, his positions against the embargo, which coincide with the sentiment expressed by the majority of the Cuban-American community in recent polls, are a demonstration of utmost patriotism.


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