President Obama gave a political stiff-arm to Congress this week in a much-anticipated official announcement of a new U.S. embassy in Havana.
Last month, the House voted to deny a funding request by the U.S. State Department that would pay for the upgrade and conversion of a consulate building in Havana into an embassy.
Promising additional roadblocks, Republican leaders in both houses of Congress responded to Obama’s Wednesday declaration as a move to coddle the dictatorial Castro regime.
Speaker John Boehner warned that the House will not end the trade embargo on the Communist nation until “Cubans enjoy freedom.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, who has taken the lead for Cuban-American congressional leaders, promised to block the president’s nominee for ambassador to Cuba until a number of concessions were met by the Castro administration.
Obama’s hard court press on the issue is limited to only a few executive actions after which rhetoric and an appeal to Congress become his final resort as he attempts to add Cuba normalization to his legacy bucket list.