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Obama policy on Cuba draws criticism

May 18, 2008 at 2:57 PM
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MIAMI, May 18 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has drawn criticism from some Cuban Americans who disagree with his policy on negotiating with U.S. enemies.

The Washington Times reported Sunday that the Illinois senator will likely have to defend his policy this week when he meets with the Cuban American National Foundation, in his first campaign stop in Florida in nine months.

Obama has said that if elected president he would hold direct talks with hostile governments, including Cuba's communist leaders.

In addition to holding talks with Cuban leaders including President Raul Castro, Obama has said if elected he would relax restrictions on travel to Cuba and allow Cuban Americans to send money for their families on the island.

Some Cuban exile groups, like The Directorio Cubano in Miami, disagree with Obama's position on talks with the Castro regime.

"We think there should be no negotiations or conversation with Raul Castro until he has released all political prisoners and made moves toward democracy," said Orlando Gutierrez, Directorio Cubano's national secretary.

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