U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a possible 2016 presidential contender, said in an interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos on Wednesday that President Barack Obama’s announcement of a historic shift in relations with Cuba would go down in history as a “tragic mistake.”
“Unfortunately, I think this announcement today is going to be remembered as a tragic mistake,” Cruz told Ramos.
Cruz, the junior senator from Texas whose father came to the U.S. from Cuba, helped pile on to a wave of mostly Republican criticism of Obama’s announcement — especially from the three Cuban-American members of the upper chamber of Congress.
Cruz cast Obama’s shift in policy as in keeping with the “Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy,” taking a not-so-subtle shot at former Secretary of State and early 2016 Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
“And it’s consistent with a pattern of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy, which has consistently alienated and abandoned our friends and allies. And at the same time, it has appeased our enemies,” Cruz told Ramos.
“So we saw it first, with Russia, and then with Iran. And now, with Cuba. Cuba is a brutal, oppressive dictatorship. It is torturing and murdering its citizens. It is a leading state sponsor of terrorism.”
Cruz has sharpened his criticism of the administration’s foreign policy this year, blasting the administration for pursuing a “reset” policy with Russia and for seeking a comprehensive deal with Iran on its nuclear program.
With respect to Cuba, he said the Obama administration gave the Cuban government a lifeline at a time when it is “gasping for air” because its main benefactor, Venezuela, is suffering economically after a sharp drop in oil prices.
“The Cuban regime is gasping for air. It is dependent on Venezuela for economic support, and with oil prices plummeting, Venezuela is reeling,” Cruz said.
“And just when the Cuban regime is teetering, President Obama steps in and tosses the Castro brothers an economic lifeline. I think it’s an enormous mistake, and I think it will jeopardize the U.S.’s national security interests.”