Kaine: U.S., Cuba should discuss human rights
Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine said Monday that the U.S.
should seek some sort of human-rights agreement with Cuba, as both
nations continue to expand their diplomatic relationship.
Speaking in Spanish to W Radio, Kaine praised President Obama's renewal
of U.S.-Cuba ties -- he and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are
"big supporters" -- but acknowledged differences remain between the two
"There are still issues between the United States and Cuba, and we
should talk and seek an agreement on human-rights, issues, for example,"
he said. "But we need to have a relationship with Cuba, like with other
nations. Diplomatic relations aren't a sign that everything's perfect,
but it's a channel for dialogue, and I'm really glad that the
relationship between the United States and Cuba is in a new chapter.
This relationship has already opened doors in the Americas with other
countries, I think in a good way for the United States -- and for Cuba,
The interview, taped while Kaine was in Los Angeles, lasted about 10
minutes. According to W Radio, in additional to airing in Colombia and
South Florida, the interview got play in Panama, Venezuela, Spain, and
the New York area.
Asked about the importance of Florida's Hispanic vote, Kaine noted
Latinos can affect election results in other states, too. His home state
of Virginia has 300,000 eligible Hispanic votes in an electorate of
about 4 million, he said.
"The Latino vote in Florida can always make a difference, because
Florida is a battleground state and many campaigns are very tight in
Florida," he said, without referring to Clinton's own poll numbers
against Republican Donald Trump. Some surveys suggest Florida may be the
tightest swing state in the country.
Kaine lamented Trump's way of speaking about immigrants.
"It's something that Trump is creating, against immigration reform,
offering ill-willed words against immigrants, fighting against President
Obama's executive actions," Kaine said, highlighting Clinton's 2006
support for reform in the Senate, and his own Spanish-language Senate
floor speech in 2013. In her first 100 days in office, Kaine said
Clinton would tackle growing the economy, reforming immigration and
overhauling campaign finance.
Elsewhere in the interview, Kaine backed the Colombian peace talks and
said the U.S. should be supportive of ongoing efforts to create a new
governing coalition in Spain.
Source: Kaine: U.S., Cuba should discuss human rights | In Cuba Today -