Francis is being credited for helping bridge the divide by first sending letters to President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba, and then having the Vatican host a diplomatic meeting between the two sides in October.
“The Holy Father wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision,” Francis said in a statement issued Wednesday night by the Vatican.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, rebuked Pope Francis when he ritually attacked President Obama’s policy that was shaped by the Pope: promised that as the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Western Hemisphere subcommittee, he’ll “make every effort to block this dangerous and desperate attempt by the President to burnish his legacy at the Cuban people’s [sic] expense.” Rubio told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he would do everything in his power to block any potential U.S. ambassador to Cuba even receive a vote. He also called the easing of economic restrictions “inexplicable” in a statement.
“Appeasing the Castro brothers will only cause other tyrants from Caracas to Tehran to Pyongyang to see that they can take advantage of President Obama’s naiveté during his final two years in office. As a result, America will be less safe as a result of the President’s change in policy,” he said.
The choice on so many issues from caring for the poor to inequality is clear: Pope Francis or the GOP?
Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace