McCain says he sees a free Cuba

May 20, 2008 at 4:16 PM
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MIAMI, May 20 (UPI) -- Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he envisioned a Cuba destined to be free and an ally to the United States, he said in a speech in Miami.

"One day, America will again have warm relations with a Cuban government that represents the sovereign will of its people, one that respects their fundamental human and political rights," McCain said. "Make no mistake: Cuba is destined to be free."

Even though Fidel Castro resigned, his successor, brother Raul Castro, still limits freedoms of Cubans, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said.

"The Castro regime enforces strict limits against freedom of expression, of association, of assembly, of movement, of speech," he said.

As president, McCain said he "would not passively" wait for the day Cubans "enjoy the blessings of freedom and democracy."

McCain also criticized Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., for his remarks favoring normalization of relations with Cuba as a means to help the country's people and for considering negotiations with Castro.

"These steps would send the worst possible signal to Cuba's dictators," McCain said. "there is no need to undertake fundamental reforms, they can simply wait for a unilateral change in U.S. policy."

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