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PolitiFact: Rubio claims Cuba policy lacks democratic reforms

FORT MYERS, Fla.-Immediately after the announcement of historical changes in U.S.-Cuba relations last month, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL emerged as one of the most outspoken critics.

“This president and this administration have let the people of Cuba down,” Rubio said.

Senator Rubio claims no promises for democratic reform were made.

“This president is the single worst negotiator we have had in the white house in my lifetime who has basically given the Cuban government everything it asked for and received no assurances of democracy and freedom in return,” he said.

Our research team at PolitiFact looked at White House summaries on the policy shift and talked with some of their experts on U.S.-Cuba relations. They found the statement that the U.S. received “no assurances of democracy and freedom” MOSTLY TRUE.

“It’s really kind of a stage-setting agreement. It doesn’t open up the possibility for political parties or really move toward democratization,” PolitiFact reporter Joshua Gillin said.

“The aim of the United States there was to foster an environment where those things could be brought up later,” he said.

Cuba agreed to release several dozen of political prisoners, free up internet access, and work with international organizations. Still, Senator Rubio says he’s not optimistic Cuba’s government will change.

“I want ppl of cuba to have right to choose own leaders, free elections, deal with president, no advances were made in that,” he said.

To read the entire fact-check, click here.