Former Sen. Mel Martinez joined MSNBC hosts Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi on Friday afternoon to voice his support President Donald Trump’s decision to rollback America’s relationship with Cuba because of its history on human rights abuse.
The president is planning to address Cuba on Friday afternoon while in Miami, and Martinez went on MSNBC to explain Trump’s case.
Martinez said that Trump will add “measured changes” to President Barack Obama’s Cuban policy proposals, and stood by Trump’s actions while condemning Cuba’s violent history with dissidents.
Velshi then brought up the fact that Trump was not as fussy about human rights when he visited with Middle Eastern rulers.
“I understand sir, but you saw that President Trump was doing a sword dance with the Saudis,” Velshi said. “I’m not comparing human rights, I’m saying we celebrate with some people who are absolute human rights abusers, and then we get crazy about Cuba.”
“Because Cuba is a horrendous human rights abuser,” Martinez shot back.
“So is Saudi Arabia!” both Velshi and Rule replied simultaneously before Velshi continued, “So is Iran, so is China.”
“You can’t compare the geopolitical significance of China, or the opportunity for business in China, with those in Cuba,” Martinez responded.