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WV Congressman of Cuban descent finds fault with President Obama's Cuban policy

January 15, 2015
In The News

As of Friday, Jan. 16 Americans will have more privileges when traveling to Cuba.

Travel to Cuba is still limited to the 12 existing categories of family visits, education, religious activities and journalism among others. However, Americans now can use credit cards and bring back $400 worth of goods. Alcohol and tobacco purchases are limited to $100.  

President Obama is facing strong opposition to those changes in Congress, including strong feelings from Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va. Mooney's mother is a native Cuban. She was imprisoned by Castro's regime when she was 21. After fleeing to Miami she earned citizenship.

At a special order of Congress Jan. 12, Mooney described the policy as failure and "unilateral susurrenderrom this administration."

"From the bright red line in Syria, which was crossed with impunity, to sending a secret message to President Putin that 'after the election I will be more flexible,' to now rewarding tyrants in Cuba who continue to deny basic human rights to their oppressed citizens; President Obama had chosen wrong policies," Mooney said. "The despotic government the President would normalize relations with has, for decades, sought to subjugate the Cuban people's appetite for freedom. The many realized American dreams of Cuban refugees, including my mother, are a great testament to the greatness of the United States and our constitutional rights".

Mooney followed up his speech with a statement calling the administration's announcement disappointing, but not surprising.

"President Obama has made capitulating to our enemies and offending our allies the hallmark of his foreign policy," he said in the statement. "Giving goodies to our enemies will not make them enact humanitarian reforms on their own. The President has thrown away a key opportunity to negotiate on behalf of greater freedoms for the Cuban people and granted political cover to a hostile Communist government only 90 miles from our shores."