Hillary Clinton will urge Congress to lift the U.S. embargo on Cuba in a speech in Florida on Friday, her campaign says.
"She will highlight that Republican arguments against increased engagement are part of failed policies of the past and contend that we must look to the future in order to advance a core set of values and interests to engage with Cubans and address human rights abuses," her campaign said in announcing the speech.
She'll make the remarks at Florida International University in Miami, where Republican Sen. Marco Rubio - a 2016 GOP contender and one of the most vocal defenders of the embargo - taught as an adjunct professor before his presidential campaign.
In a statement, Rubio said:
"After Secretary Clinton's failed 'reset' with Putin, now she wants to do a 'reset' with Castro. She is making another grave mistake. Unilateral concessions to the Castros will only strengthen a brutal, anti-American regime 90 miles from our shore. President Obama and Secretary Clinton must learn that appeasement only emboldens dictators and repressive governments, and weakens America's global standing in the 21st century. As president, I will stand with the Cuban people and only support an end to the embargo that is accompanied by real democratic reform."
Her announcement comes less than two weeks after Cuba officially reopened its embassy in Washington after 54 years of hostility.
A recent Pew poll found 73% of Americans – including 56% of Republicans – supporting the United States re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba.
- Mark Murray contributed