US House Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen helped shut
down a recent diplomatic opening between Israel and Cuba, according to
Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the incoming chairwoman of the House Committee on
Foreign Affairs, let Israel know she was displeased with the possible
rapprochement, Politico reported. The congresswoman is a Cuban exile and
violently opposed to Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
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In an interview with The Atlantic reporter
Jeffrey Goldberg, Castro defended Israel and Jews
and criticized Iran,
leading to praise from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a
friendly letter from President Shimon Peres.
Ros-Lehtinen complained to Israel about the warm reception to Castro's
words, leading to an apologetic call from Netanyahu, Politico reported.
“I just said look, this guy has been an enemy of Israel, just because he
said something that a normal person would say -- after 50 years of
anti-Israel incitement, it’s one phrase from an old guy who doesn’t even
know where he’s standing,” Ros-Lehtinen told Politico.