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Castor, Rubio put Cuba politics on display at the State of the Union,Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief

Castor, Rubio put Cuba politics on display at the State of the Union
Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief
Monday, January 19, 2015 12:12pm

Two Florida lawmakers with polar opposite views of Cuba will use the
State of The Union to highlight the politics of Obama’s effort to
nomalize trade relations with the communist country.

Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, said today that she will bring as her guest
Jose Valiente, past chair of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and
an advocate for opening up relations with Cuba.

The Cuban-born Valiente supported the trade until 2003. “I
realized that if the intent of the embargo was to bring change to Cuba,
it has failed, because nothing has changed,” he told the Tampa Bay Times
in 2011. “If it was up to me, I’d lift the embargo tomorrow for the
simple reason that the real victims of this whole conflict are the
people of Cuba. The embargo doesn’t hurt the government.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from Miami, has been a vocal opponent of
Obama’s moves. Rubio will bring Cuban activist Rosa María Payá. Her
father was killed in Cuba in 2012 and, according to Rubio’s office, the
vehicle’s driver alleged that the car was targeted by Cuban government
officials. “However, the Cuban regime has denied all requests to conduct
an independent investigation.”

“For years, Oswaldo Payá courageously traveled throughout Cuba
collecting tens of thousands of signatures from ordinary Cubans on a
petition that came to be known as the Project, which sought a
peaceful democratic transition.”

Said Rubio, “I’m honored that Rosa María Payá will join us in the
Capitol on Tuesday evening as the addresses our nation. Since
her father’s murder, Rosa María has honored his legacy by continuing to
advocate for a free and democratic Cuba and also fighting to bring his
murderers to justice.”

The White House said Alan , who was impisoned in Cuba for five
years, will be a guest along with his wife of First Lady Michelle Obama.
Gross supports the thaw in relations with Cuba.

[Last modified: Monday, January 19, 2015 12:45pm]

Source: Castor, Rubio put Cuba politics on display at the State of the
Union | Tampa Bay Times –
http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/castor-rubio-put-cuba-politics-on-display-at-the-state-of-the-union/2214224

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