updated 3/22/2007 1:04:37 PM ET 2007-03-22T17:04:37

Republican presidential candidate John McCain is warning that socialism is spreading in Latin America. And he says the war in Iraq has distracted the U.S. from paying attention to growing problems in the region.

The Arizona senator says he'll put a new emphasis on Latin America if he's elected.

In Miami, McCain met with veterans of the failed "Bay of Pigs" invasion of Cuba, pledging that he'll keep the U.S. embargo in place against Cuba until there is real change on the island.

Recent polls have shown that McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are running close to each other among Florida Republicans. State lawmakers are considering advancing the Florida primary to as early as January in an effort to give Sunshine State voters more clout.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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