December 17, 2014 / 4:47 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. senator pledges to block efforts to normalize Cuba relations

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on "U.S. Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" on Capitol Hill in Washington September 17, 2014. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Marco Rubio said on Wednesday he would “make every effort” to block moves by President Barack Obama toward normalizing relations with the Cuban government.

“The president’s decision to reward the Castro regime and begin the path toward the normalization of relations with Cuba is inexplicable,” Rubio said in a statement.

The Florida Republican senator, who is Cuban-American, said he would use his role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Western Hemisphere subcommittee in the new Congress to try to block the plan.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Doina Chiacu

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