The same day President Barack Obama announced the removal of Cuba from the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, Speaker John A. Boehner reiterated the House won't be a willing partner in the administration's campaign to normalize relations between the two countries.
That includes taking up any bill to lift long-imposed sanctions on Cuba. "Most U.S. sanctions on the Cuban regime are contained in other laws — laws the U.S. House will ensure remain in place as we work to protect those fighting for freedom, and in many cases, simply their own survival," the Ohio Republican said in a statement Friday afternoon.
Boehner slammed Obama for trying to make nice with a government he called "a communist dictatorship" with a "long record of repression and human-rights abuses," and he took a swing at the administration for "focusing more on befriending our enemies than helping our allies.
"As I've said before," Boehner continued, "relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom — and not one second sooner."
Predictably, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., took a different view of Friday's developments.
"Because of President Obama's leadership, we can continue to build a better and more hopeful future in the western hemisphere that meets our security needs and fulfills the democratic aspirations of the Cuban people," she said in a separate statement Friday. "This is also a critical step forward in creating new opportunities for American businesses and entrepreneurs, and in strengthening family ties."
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