Top leaders give Cuba move mixed reviews

Daily Herald Staff Report
Updated 12/17/2014 6:44 PM

President Barack Obama Wednesday announced the release of American prisoner Alan Gross from Cuba and a move toward a diplomatic relationship with the country.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Springfield Democrat: "Opening the door with Cuba for trade, travel, and the exchange of ideas will create a force for positive change in Cuba that more than 50 years of our current policy of exclusion could not achieve."


U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, Highland Park Republican: "I am thankful (Alan Gross) has been reunited with his family and will be given time to regain his health. However, by trading convicted spies -- including one who was implicated in the murder of U.S. citizens -- for an innocent American, and normalizing relations without any sign of real democratic reforms, President Obama has continued the practice of treating our friends like enemies and our enemies like friends."

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, Wheaton Republican: "The administration's intent to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba only rewards and legitimizes the Castros' decades of repressive, dictatorial rule, and once again demonstrates President Obama's tendency to appease our enemies while alienating our allies."

Archbishop Blase Cupich: "I join our Holy Father Pope Francis in congratulating President Barack Obama and President Raúl Castro for taking the historic decision to re-establish diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba, and for pledging to work together to overcome the difficulties between the two countries. This step took great courage on the part of both leaders."

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