In an attempt to boost voter support for the GOP ticket amongst Hispanic voters, Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee pledged last week to be tough on Chavez and tough on Castro. That was in reference to Hugo Chavez the leader of Venezuela and Raul Castro the leader of Cuba.
Although Ryan did not offered any details about how the GOP ticket would change policy in Cuba, the tough rhetoric was enough for him to receive a strong applause from the many supporters who came to hear him speak. A large number of legislators who are Spanish speaking from Florida, including Mario Diaz-Balart, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lethinen gave Ryan much praise. Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and Romney’s youngest son Craig, who is a fluent Spanish speaker, were also there to help rev up the crowd.
Ryan said his colleagues in Congress who are Cuban-American have explained to him how brutal the regime in Cuba has been, and how the current president’s appeasement program with Cuba is not working. Ryan said under a Romney administration they will be tough on Castro and they will help the different pro-democracy groups that exist.
He said being tough on both Chavez and Castro is the correct policy for the U.S. Romney also took a hard line that was similar to Ryan’s against the regime in Cuba when speaking to the U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC during a January trip for the Florida primary. He said he was anticipating the death of Fidel Castro.
Those kinds of speeches play well with a number of the many Cuban-Americans living in South Florida, who believe the decision by President Obama to lift the embargo for travel to Cuba has benefitted Castro, as it helps his economy.