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    Clinton Position On Cuba Signals New Political Era

    Clinton Position On Cuba Signals New Political Era
    June 10, 2014 3:54 PM ET

    One of the few revelations in Hard Choices, former Secretary of State
    Hillary Clinton’s new book about her time in the Obama administration,
    is that she urged President Obama to end the U.S. embargo against Cuba.

    “Since 1960, the United States had maintained an embargo against the
    island in hopes of squeezing Castro from power, but it only succeeded in
    giving him a foil to blame for Cuba’s economic woes,” Clinton writes.
    “It wasn’t achieving its goals and it was holding back our broader
    agenda across Latin America.”

    In an interview with NPR, Clinton elaborated: “I would support
    normalizing relations, which could very well lead to lifting the
    embargo,” she said. “But I would hasten to add that I’ve been down this
    road both in the ’90s and with President Obama where we make a move
    toward Cuba and, in my opinion, the Castros do not want the embargo
    lifted. It’s their best friend.

    “They can look as though they are standing up against America. They can
    blame every problem in Cuba on the embargo. Because I know what happened
    when my husband wanted to normalize. I know what President Obama was
    willing to do.”

    Hillary Clinton cited the shooting down of a small airplane with two
    anti-Castro activists by the Cuban military during the Clinton
    administration and Cuba’s imprisonment of U.S. government contractor
    Alan Gross during the Obama administration as acts done “all to stymie
    the effort to try to force Cuba to be more open by normalizing our

    There may be no greater sign of the declining power of the Cuba embargo
    as an issue in U.S. politics than Clinton’s openness about advocating
    for its end.

    This is a noteworthy moment, something close to a sea change in American
    politics. It is the first time a politician from one of the two major
    parties with a real possibility of becoming the party’s presidential
    nominee has stated publicly that the embargo should end.

    For Clinton, well-known as cautious, deliberate and cagey, to publicize
    this in her book shows just how much the political climate has changed,
    especially in the mother of all battleground states — Florida.

    Obama, for instance, called for an end to the embargo in January 2004
    before he won a U.S. Senate seat. But by August 2007, when he was
    running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, he was
    telling audiences, especially in Florida, that he supported the embargo.

    In that, he joined generations of politicians who knew the quickest way
    to antagonize Cuban-American voters, particularly those who fled Fidel
    Castro’s Cuba in the 1950s and 1960s, was to call for an end to the embargo.

    Clinton’s comments, however, reflect the growing political power of a
    younger generation of Cuban-Americans for whom the embargo holds little
    to no meaning. A 2011 poll conducted for the Cuban Research Institute
    and the Ford Foundation showed this dynamic, as well as the tendency of
    those Cubans who arrived in the U.S. in 1994 and later to oppose the

    An Atlantic Council poll from earlier this year found that even in
    Miami-Dade County, the Florida locality with the highest percentage of
    Cuban-Americans, 64 percent of adults supported an end to the embargo
    and the normalization of economic and other ties with Cuba. Nationally,
    56 percent of respondents favored normalization. Even a majority of
    Republicans, 52 percent, favored normal relations with Cuba.

    Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas are two politicians
    who buck the trend of younger Americans with Cuban roots who favor
    ending the embargo. Both are 43 years old and frequently mentioned as
    2016 Republican presidential candidates. It will be interesting to see
    what political use, if any, they make of this newest revelation by the
    former secretary of state.

    Source: Clinton Position On Cuba Signals New Political Era : It’s All
    Politics : NPR –