'Congresswoman halts Israel-Cuba diplomatic opening'

Politico: Incoming Rep. Ros-Lehtinen let Israel know she was displeased with the possible rapprochement, leading to apology from Netanyahu.

By JTA
November 24, 2010 15:07
1 minute read.
Cuba revolution anniversary

Cuba revolution anniversary. (photo credit: AP)

 
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US House Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen helped shut down a recent diplomatic opening between Israel and Cuba, according to Politico.

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.

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