Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Congress can't stop Obama's Cuba policy

Published:Friday | December 19, 2014 | 12:00 AM
US Senator Robert Menendez (D) of New Jersey disagrees with the president's position on Cuba. - AP

WASHINGTON (AP):

Opponents of President Barack Obama's sudden move to re-establish ties with Cuba have little chance of scuttling his effort in Congress.

His initiative faces some strong resistance among lawmakers and opened fissures in both parties. Criticism came mostly from Republicans, who say the new policy rewards Cuba's decades-long policies of repression, human rights abuses and aggression, but some prominent Democrats voiced opposition, too.

Opponents spoke of holding up money to set up a full-service US Embassy in Havana, blocking Obama's nominee as ambassador to Cuba or other such steps. But even if they were to pass sweeping legislation to stop what Obama wants to do, he could veto it and they are not likely to have the votes to override a veto.

Even though the GOP will control both the Senate and House come January 6, Republicans will face pressure from businesses and the farm industry, eyeing opportunities for commerce in Cuba, not to stand in the way of expanded ties.