Much of the focus on Chuck Hagel’s record has been on his views on Israel, Iran and sequestration. Equally troubling to those who have taken a forceful stand against Castro’s dictatorship in Cuba, however, has been his dismissive attitude toward the Castros and his enthusiasm to end the U.S. embargo with no quid pro quo.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has already expressed serious concerns about Hagel’s views on Cuba. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), former chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and now chairman of the Middle East and North Africa subcommittee, put out a statement objecting to Hagel and citing his views on Iran, Israel and Cuba:
During his time in Congress, Senator Hagel supported legislation that would have provided a lifeline to the decrepit Castro regime that for the last half a century has exploited the Cuban people and posed a severe security threat to the U.S. . . . In a time of regional turmoil and rogue regimes, our Secretary of Defense must remain strong on sanctions against Iran, never abandon our allies, like Israel, and stand up to dictators like the Castro brothers who seek to oppress the voices of democracy and freedom