Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) on Sunday said President Barack Obama's decision to reach out to Cuba is just the latest example of him trying to appease dictatorships, and said the country will have to live though another two years of this under Obama.
"This administration — oh my golly, it just can't come to an end soon enough," she said on Fox News Sunday. "It's going to be two years of appeasing every dictator under the sun."
Obama last week said he would ease trade and travel restrictions related to Cuba, and even look to dismantle the embargo, a move that would require a change to U.S. law. But Ros-Lehtinen and other members have said the Cuban government have not agreed to any steps that would allow its citizens to enjoy the benefits of increased economic outreach from the United States.
While Obama has said a change is needed because the embargo has failed to bring democratic changes to people in Cuba, Ros-Lehtinen said Cuba's normal relations with scores of other countries also has failed to bring reform.
"A hundred and ninety plus countries in the world have been wheeling and dealing with the Castro regime for over 50 years, and that has not brought the Cuban people any closer," she said. "So it's not that your engagement or non-engagement is going to move the dial toward freedom."
"What we have to do is work toward the day when we can get rid of the ruthless thugs, Raul and Fidel Castro, and help bring the Cuban people and the opposition… give them the help that they need," she said.
Ros-Lehtinen said Obama's effort with Cuba is just the latest effort to appease foreign dictatorships around the world, including in Iran and North Korea. She said none of these efforts have brought any of the results the administration is seeking.
"Cuba, check. Iran, check. North Korea, check," she said of Obama's attempts to reach out to dictatorships. "This will not bring benefits or freedom or democracy."