GOP primary debate on Univision: on Foreign Policy


Fred Thompson: Castro is a uniquely brutal tyrant; keep the embargo

Q: Cuban dictatorship has survived nine U.S. presidents. What would you do differently, that has not been done so far, to bring democracy to Cuba?

A: I’m going to make sure that he didn’t survive 10 US presidents. Fidel Castro is unique in many respects. He represents the only non-democratic government in the hemisphere. He is uniquely brutal. He is still tyrannizing his own people. He lures the vulnerable and the naive Americans down there and puts on shows for them and they come back and do his propaganda. There are not many people who can pull that sort of thing off. He’s obviously in bad health. That situation, probably, is in God’s hands. He will probably be succeeded by someone who’s no better than him, and that is Raul Castro. And we should treat Raul with the same contempt that we show Castro, including keeping the embargo on Cuba.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision Dec 9, 2007

John McCain: Maintain Cuban embargo; indict Castro

Q: Cuban dictatorship has survived nine U.S. presidents. What would you do differently, that has not been done so far, to bring democracy to Cuba?

A: Of course we need to keep our embargo up. Of course we cannot allow economic aid to flow to Cuba. And if I were president of the United States, I would order an investigation of the shoot-down of those brave Cubans who were killed under the orders of Raul and Fidel Castro, and, if necessary, indict them.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision Dec 9, 2007

Mike Huckabee: Hugo Chavez was not elected as dictator; no friend of US

Q: How would you deal with Venezuela’s Pres. Chavez? He was elected democratically, but is attempting to overturn the Constitution.

A: Well, Hugo Chavez is hardly the friend of the US. And even though we get 60% of their oil, I think it’s one of the major reasons we need to become increasingly oil-free & energy-independent so that we don’t have to worry about Chavez. But there’s a greater issue here, and it’s the fact that the people of Venezuela aren’t Hugo Chavez and Hugo Chavez is not necessarily the spirit of the people of Venezuela. Even though he was elected, he was not elected to be a dictator as he has become, suspending constitutional law. My mother used to have a statement: If you give somebody enough rope, they’ll hang themselves. I have a feeling that Mr. Chavez, continuing to take power from the people as he has done, will find himself unfortunately out of power, and a democratically elected government there that will give those people back the freedom that he has robbed from them.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision Dec 9, 2007

Mitt Romney: Free Cuba and eliminate threat of people like Hugo Chavez

Q: Cuban dictatorship has survived nine US presidents. What would you do differently?

A: You’ve got to think about who Fidel Castro is, and who Raul Castro is as well. We call them strongmen--dictators, totalitarian leaders. And yet these are individuals who are not strong. Look at what they have done: People wearing a wristband that says “change” are arrested--25 of them just for wearing a wristband. These Castro brothers are cowards, and we have to recognize they are cowards. And for that reason, the course for America is to continue our isolation of Cuba. It is not to say, as Barack Obama on the Democratic side said, that he would dignify the Castros with a personal visit to Cuba. That’s not the way to go. Instead, it’s to bring our friends together to isolate Cuba, to put together a strategy that helps all of Latin America, weakens Hugo Chavez who is propping up Castro. We need a Latin American policy that frees Cuba and that eliminates a threat of people like Hugo Chavez.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision Dec 9, 2007

Ron Paul: Stop interfering with Latin America; talk & trade instead

Q: Venezuela rejected changes to the constitution, but President Hugo Chavez has insisted that he’s going to propose them again. Many consider him a threat to democracy in the region. How would you deal with Chavez?

A: Well, he’s not the easiest person to deal with, but we should deal with everybody around the world the same way: with friendship and opportunity to talk and try to trade with people. We talked to Stalin, we talked to Khrushchev, we’ve talked to Mao, and we’ve talked to the world, & we get along with people. Actually, I believe we’re at a time where we even ought to talk to Cuba and trade and travel to Cuba. We have a problem in South America and Central America: because we’ve been involved in their internal affairs for so long. We have been meddling in their business. We create the Chavezes of the world, we create the Castros of the world by interfering and creating chaos in their countries, and they respond by throwing out their leader.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision Dec 9, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Stand against Chavez’s & Castro’s form of dictatorship

Q: [to Paul]: How would you deal with Venezuela’s Chavez?

PAUL: He’s not the easiest person to deal with, but we should deal with everybody around the world the same way: with friendship & opportunity to talk & try to trade with people.

GIULIANI: I actually agree with the way King Juan Carlos spoke to Chavez [telling him to “shut up.”] That would be the way I would do it. Far better than what Congressman Paul wants to do. But the reality is that Chavez is acting like a dictator. And he should be treated that way. There’s a counter-movement going on in Latin America. [The people] don’t want to go in the direction that Castro wanted to take Latin America. They don’t want to go toward socialism and communism. They want to go to free markets, they want to go to freedom. I think it’s the essential nature of the people of Latin America, and I think Chavez is going in actually the opposite direction, kind of a repeat of what Castro tried to do, and it’s a disgrace, and we should stand against it.

Source: 2007 Republican primary debate on Univision Dec 9, 2007

  • The above quotations are from Republican primary debate on Univision, in Spanish, at the University of Miami, Dec. 9, 2007.
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  • Click here for more quotes by Mike Huckabee on Foreign Policy.
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Candidates and political leaders on Foreign Policy:
Incoming Obama Administration:
Pres.:Sen.Barack Obama
V.P.:Sen.Joe Biden
State:Hillary Clinton
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
Treas.:Tim Geithner
DoD:Robert Gates
A.G.:Eric Holder
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DoC:Bill Richardson
Outgoing Bush Administration:
Pres.:George Bush
V.P.:Dick Cheney
A.G.:John Ashcroft(2005)
DEA:Asa Hutchinson(2005)
USDA:Mike Johanns(2007)
EPA:Mike Leavitt
HUD:Mel Martinez(2003)
State:Colin Powell(2005)
State:Condoleezza Rice
HHS:Tommy Thompson(2005)
2008 Presidential contenders:
AIP: Frank McEnulty
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP VP: Gov.Sarah Palin
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Independent: Ralph Nader
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
NAIP: Amb.Alan Keyes
Socialist: Brian Moore
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