Mitt Romney on Cuba
Governor Romney opposes the Castro regime in Cuba and takes a hardline stance in polices dealing with the country. He supports continued economic sanctions, and diplomatic isolation on the regime there.
In March of 2007, Governor Romney stated in a radio interview that he supported continuing the embargo of Cuba. He stated that this pressure would move Latin America countries towards the US and away from Cuba and Venezuela.
A day after his radio interview, Governor Romney gave a speech at a Lincoln dinner. In that speech, Governor Romney proposed seven steps to push the western hemisphere away from dictatorships such as Cuba and Venezuela and towards democracies like the US. These action were continued economic and diplomatic sanctions, foreign aid and foreign investments, influencing public opinion in Latin America, improving our economic ties, rebuilding relationships of respect and trust and friendship, secure the border and solve the problem of illegal immigration, and stop ignoring Latin America.
During the 2008 Presidential election cycle, Governor Romney was very critical of statements that Senator Obama made concerning possible lifting of sanctions and allowing remittances to Cuba. He stated that such a policy would be counterproductive.
When Fidel Castro handed over dictatorship to Raul Castro, Governor Romney stated that simply handing power from one tyrant to the next does not constitute change. He called for a real change in Cuba.
In January of 2008, Governor Romney gave a speech to the Cuban American National Foundation in which he stated that there were four pillars that the US must adhere to in dealing with Cuba. These items were economic pressure, diplomatic isolation, more effective communication with the people of Cuba and the world about the human rights abuses in Cuba. and military strength.
As part of his 2012 plan on Latin America, Governor Romney asserted the "Obama's Failure" had been removing sanctions against Cuba. He did not state that he would reinstitute the sanctions if election, but promised to go on a trip within his first 100 days to encourage free trade in the region.
WIOD Radio Interview
On March 8, 2007 Governor Romney stated in an interview with WIOD Radio that he would like to see the embargo against Cuba continued.
I am in favor of the embargo. I believe that any effort that would put more money in the hands of the Castro brothers in not a good idea. I think we need to continue the pressure and to develop a Latin American strategy that will move more countries towards us and away from the Castro brothers and individuals like Hugo Chavez.
Lincoln Day Dinner
On March 9, 2007 Governor Romney spoke at the Miami-Dade Lincoln Dinner. Much of the speech was dedicated to Cuba, and the need for change there.
Response to Senator Obama's Remarks
In August of 2007 Governor Romney responded to remarks made by Senator Obama that he may consider concessions to Cuba in the form of remittances.
First, Sen. Obama said he would make it a priority to meet with Castro in his first year in office. Now, he's proposing that we begin to lift sanctions against the Castro regime.
Unilateral concessions to a dictatorial regime are counterproductive, helping to secure a succession of power and repression instead of a transition to freedom. They will only embolden those who cling to power at the expense of the Cuban people.
We must not weaken our policy on Cuba until the Castro regime is dismantled, all political prisoners are freed and Cubatransitions to free and fair elections
Response to Castro Announcement
When Fidel Castro stepped down in December of 2007, Governor Romney issued a statement noting that change was needed in Cuba and that a simple passing of succession from Fidel to Raul Castro was not change.
Even if Fidel Castro does not return to power, Cuba's government remains the brutal regime that he founded nearly 49 years ago. Regardless of his newfound desire to not 'obstruct the path of younger people,' the fact remains that Cuba's youth are currently subject to constant surveillance, harassment and violence for demanding their freedom and are among the many political prisoners in Cuba today.
CAMBIO is desperately needed in Cuba, not a succession of power to Raul Castro or the next generation of Castro cronies. Cuba's future should be shaped by its freedom-loving youth. We must maintain our current policy until the Castro regime is dismantled, all political prisoners are freed and a transition to free and fair elections takes place.
Cuban American National Foundation
In January of 2008, Governor Romney submitted a statement to the Cuban American National Foundation. He stated that change was needed in Cuba, and described the four major points of pressure that can be applied to the regime in Cuba.