U.S. Senator Marco Rubio suggests he will oppose White House efforts to confirm an ambassador and fund an embassy as President Obama moves to normalize relations with Cuba. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Senator Marco Rubio vowed on Wednesday (December 17) to block moves by President Barack Obama toward normalizing relations with the Cuban government. "I anticipate I'll be the chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of Foreign Relations, and I anticipate we're going to have a very interesting couple of years discussing how you're going to get an ambassador nominated and how you're going to get an embassy funded," Rubio, a Florida Republican senator who is Cuban-American, told reporters at a news conference. "The White House has conceded everything, and gained little," he added. "They gained no commitment on the part of the Cuban regime to freedom of press, or freedom of speech, or elections. No binding commitment was made to truly open up the internet. No commitment was made to allowing the establishment of political parties or to even begin the semblance of a transition to democracy." Earlier, President Barack Obama said the United States plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba more than 50 years after they were severed, a major policy shift after decades of hostile ties with the communist-ruled island.