SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-Florida): I think it does set a very dangerous precedent, it puts a price on every American abroad, governments now now that they can take an American hostage they can take an American hostage they can get very significant concessions from the United States.
[Later on Today the president will announce] The president announced measures that go well beyond simply the release of Mr. Gross. [I think they will] entail things like normalized diplomatic relationship between the United States and Cuba, opening up more commerce and trade with a dictatorship.
My interest in Cuba has always been the furthering of democracy and freedom. The people of Cuba have a right -- They are free to choose any economic system they want. Nothing the president will announce today will further that goal. It is ironic a week after we imposed sanctions on human rights violators in Venezuela we are lifting sanctions on the government that has taught them how to commit human rights violations. It is absurd and it is part of long record of coddling dictators and tyrants this in administration has...
I don't know what his intentions are. His foreign policy is at a minimum naive, and perhaps even truly counterproductive to the future of democracy in the region.
Just last week we imposed sanctions on human rights violators in Venezuela, but the people who are supporting the Venezuelans in conducting those violations -- literally the Cubans have taken over the Venezuela government, we're actually lifting sanctions on them.
How absurd is that? And it's just par for the course, all of these tyrants around the world know the United States can be had. At a minimum I will say this, the president is the worst negotiator we've had as president since at least Jimmy Carter and perhaps in the modern era.