State of Florida Archives: on Foreign Policy


Charlie Crist: Lift the Cuban embargo; it has failed for 50 years

Crist announced his support for lifting the US trade embargo against Cuba, a policy shift that shows how far the former Republican has moved since switching parties. "The embargo has done nothing in more than 50 years to change the regime in Cuba," Crist said. "If we want to bring democracy to Cuba, we need to encourage American values & investment there."

When asked about the influential Cuban bloc of voters, most of whom oppose restoring normalcy with Cuba, Crist denounced the trade embargo as an ineffective relic. "I don't think it worked," Crist said. "We need to move forward and get the embargo taken away."

Crist said lifting the embargo would be a boon for his state. "A lot of construction would be required, and South Florida could be the launching pad for all of that," he said.

Crist's statements are a complete reversal of his previous position. In 2010, Crist said he not only opposed removing the trade embargo, but he also was against loosening travel restrictions to Cuba.

Source: PoliticalTicker.com on 2014 Florida governor's race Feb 8, 2014

Bill Nelson: Keep the Cuban embargo, but let family members travel

On Cuba policy, Mack said any loosening of the U.S. embargo would "pad the pockets of the Castro brothers.'' The embargo will be lifted when the country has free, Democratic elections, free speech and releases political prisoners, he said.

Nelson said the embargo shouldn't be lifted, but that family members should be allowed to travel and take remittances with them.

Source: Sun-Sentinel coverage of 2012 Florida Senate debate Oct 16, 2012

Connie Mack IV: Keep the Cuban embargo until Cuba is a free democracy

On Cuba policy, Mack said any loosening of the U.S. embargo would "pad the pockets of the Castro brothers.'' The embargo will be lifted when the country has free, Democratic elections, free speech and releases political prisoners, he said.

Nelson said the embargo shouldn't be lifted, but that family members should be allowed to travel and take remittances with them.

Source: Sun-Sentinel coverage of 2012 Florida Senate debate Oct 16, 2012

Mitt Romney: Critical time for American century vs. European socialism

The people of America recognize that this is a critical time. This is not just an average election. This is a time where we're going to decide whether America will remain the great hope of the 21st century, whether this will be an American century, or, instead, whether we'll continue to go down a path to become more and more like Europe, a social welfare state. That's where we're headed.

Our economy is becoming weaker. The foundation of our future economy is being eroded. Government has become too large. We're headed in a very dangerous direction.

I believe, to get America back on track, we're going to have to have dramatic, fundamental, extraordinary change in Washington to be able to allow our private sector to once again reemerge competitively, to scale back the size of government and to maintain our strength abroad in our military capacities. I believe that, to change Washington in such a dramatic way, you cannot do it by people who have been there their entire careers.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary Jan 26, 2012

Newt Gingrich: I supported Helms-Burton to isolate the Castro regime

ROMNEY: [to Gingrich] The right course for Cuba is to continue to honor Helms-Burton. I will use every resource we have, short of invasion and military action, to make sure that when Fidel Castro finally leaves this planet, that we are able to help the people of Cuba enjoy freedom.

GINGRICH: I was very proud as Speaker to be able to make sure that the Helms-Burton Act passed, and I'm delighted that Rep. Dan Burton is campaigning with me, because it was a very important step towards isolating the Castro regime. We should facilitate the transition from dictatorship to freedom. We want to bring together every non-military asset we have, exactly as Pres. Reagan did in Eastern Europe: he broke up the Soviet empire without a general war by using a wide range of things, one of which is just psychological, saying to the next generation of people in Cuba, the dictatorship is not going to survive. You need to bet on freedom & prosperity in Cuba, and we will help you get to that freedom.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary Jan 26, 2012

Rick Santorum: Stand up for our friends in Latin America, not leftists

Q: How would you engage in Latin America to support the governments and the political parties that support democracy and free markets?

PAUL: Well, I think free trade is the answer. Free trade is an answer to a lot of conflicts around the world, so I'm always promoting free trade. And you might add Cuba, too. I think we would be a lot better off trading with Cuba.

SANTORUM: I'm not with Congressman Paul & I'm not with Barack Obama on this issue. Our policy in Central and South America under this administration has been abysmal: A consistent policy of siding with the leftists, siding with the Marxists, siding with those who don't support democracy. Not standing up for our friends who want to engage and support America, who want to be great trading partners and great allies for our country, to be able to form that kind of bond that is so essential in our own hemisphere. We not only have to come together as an economic unit, but against the threat of radical Islam growing in that region.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary Jan 26, 2012

Rick Santorum: Keep embargo on Cuba--the heart of cancer in Latin America

Q: Pres. Obama announced that he is liberalizing trade and travel policies to Cuba. Your view?

SANTORUM: I would oppose it. I've been 100% in support of the right to a free Cuba, and the US should stand on the side of the Cuban people against these despots who are not just reigning terror in Cuba, but now have their puppet, Chavez in Venezuela, and it keeps like a cancer growing. So the idea that a president would take the heart of the cancer that is in Central & South America, and begin to reward behavior that has spread this cancer because of our dilly-dallying and our inattentiveness there-- Now, we're going to reward this type of thuggery, this type of Marxism in our region. We're going to reward a country that is now working with these other countries bring in Iran and the Jihadists who want to set up missile sites and to set up training camps. And so we're going to reward this behavior by opening up and liberalizing. This is the exact wrong message at the exact wrong time.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary Jan 26, 2012

Rick Santorum: Self-determination on statehood for Puerto Rico

Q: Do you support Puerto Rico potentially as the 51st state?

SANTORUM: When I was a Senator, we did a lot of work with Puerto Rico. I was made aware of problems, for example, in the Medicaid program. We passed things to help with deplorably low reimbursement rates. We also worked on hurricane relief and a whole host of other things as a result of my relationship with many Puerto Ricans in PA.

I believe in self-determination: That the Puerto Rican people should have the opportunity to be able to be able to speak on this. I have supported that. I don't take a position one way or the other on statehood, commonwealth, or independence; that's for the people of Puerto Rico to decide.

But I also supported a lot of things to help the Puerto Rican economy. The poverty & unemployment rates are simply not something that we as Americans should allow to occur in our country. We need to make sure that there are pro-growth, supply side economics to make sure that Puerto Rico can succeed as an economy.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary Jan 26, 2012

Ron Paul: In Latin America, standing up for allies has meant military

SANTORUM: I'm not with Congressman Paul & I'm not with Barack Obama on [Latin American relations]: A consistent policy of siding with the leftists, siding with the Marxists, siding with those who don't support democracy. Not standing up for our friends who want to engage and support America

PAUL: The senator mentioned standing up for some of these nations, but he doesn't define it, but standing up for nations like this usually means that we impose ourselves, go and pick the dictators, undermine certain governments, also sending them a lot of money. It doesn't work. Most of the time, this backfires. They resent us. We can achieve what he wants in a much different way than us using the bully attitude that you will do it our way. This is not a benefit to us. Because you're talking about force.

SANTORUM: What I talked about is building strong national security relationships. No one's talking about force. Nobody's talking about going into Cuba or going into Venezuela.

Source: CNN 2012 GOP primary debate on the eve of Florida primary Jan 26, 2012

Jeff Greene: 2007: Visited Cuba to repair yacht & support synagogues

The main point of contention between Meek and Greene boils down to which one is dirtier. "Your life is a question mark and every day we learn about your business dealings and how you treat your employees. You have more versions of why you went to Cuba than Baskin Robbins has flavors of ice cream," Meek said, referring to Greene's explanations for why he took his 145-foot yacht to Cuba in 2007.

Greene initially said he went to Cuba as part of a humanitarian mission to visit the Jewish community there. He then said the Cuba visit was the result of mechanical troubles on his yacht and he visited synagogues there while he was waiting for the vessel to be repaired.

Greene says he went to Cuba merely because his yacht, Summerwind, needed repairs for a diving trip. On Tuesday he produced receipts for yacht parts and an attorney's letter saying no law was violated based on how Greene explained the trip.

Source: 2010 Florida Dem. Primary Debate, Miami Herald & P.B.Post Aug 10, 2010

Ron Paul: Stronger national defense by changing our foreign policy

Q: What are the top three federal programs you would reduce in size in order to decrease spending?

A: I would like to change Washington, and we could by cutting three programs, such as the Department of Education-- Ronald Reagan used to talk about that--Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security is the biggest bureaucracy we ever had. And besides, what we can do is we can have a stronger national defense by changing our foreign policy.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Mike Huckabee: Law of the Sea Treaty gives away our sovereignty

There’s nothing funny about Hillary Clinton being president. Let me tell you why. If she’s president, taxes go up, health care becomes the domain of the government, spending goes out of control, our military loses its morale, and I’m not sure we’ll have the courage and the will and the resolve to fight the greatest threat this country’s ever faced in Islamofascism. We’ll sign crazy bills like the Law of the Sea Treaty and give away our sovereignty.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate in Orlando, Florida Oct 21, 2007

Betty Castor: Bush’s travel restrictions to Cuba are wrong

I think Bush’s travel restrictions to Cuba are wrong. Who does it hurt? It only hurts the families.
Source: Florida Senate Debate, in St. Petersburg Times Oct 19, 2004

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