Jeb Bush says that President Barack Obama’s decision to reopen America’s embassy in Cuba after 54 years is part of a “legacy building” vanity project that will only help perpetuate Cuba’s dictatorial regime.
“There is nothing in this agreement of diplomatic relations that ensures that there will be freedom in Cuba,” the former Florida governor and 2016 presidential contender told The Daily Caller, while noting the president’s decision to reopen America’s embassy in Cuba was “heartbreaking for people that want to see a free, democratic Cuba.”
“In fact,” Bush added, “this will perpetuate the regime rather than to bring about its end.”
Bush spoke to TheDC Wednesday as President Obama made the news official in a speech from the White House Rose Garden. Obama announced that the American embassy in Cuba would reopen later this summer at a ceremony to be attended by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Cuba will reportedly reopen its embassy in Washington, D.C. on July 20.
Obama’s Wednesday announcement is the latest step in a process the president articulated last December to begin to normalize America’s relations with the communist island after more than 50 years of isolation. In May, the State Department removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
To Bush, Obama’s effort to change America’s long-standing policy toward Cuba is all about “legacy building.”
“We’ve got nothing in return for this effort other than to have, I guess, Barack Obama claim that this happened under his watch,” Bush said. “This is a legacy building thing that perpetuates the regime.”
Check back to TheDC later this week for more of its extensive interview with Bush on foreign policy, Donald Trump and more.