THE BLOG
08/22/2007 10:14 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hillary, Not Obama, Is A Democratic Outlier On Cuba Policy

Tuesday morning, Laura Wides-Munoz reported for the Associated Press:

"Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Tuesday called the Bush administration's decision to tighten restrictions on relatives of Cubans who want to visit the island or send money home strategic blunders and promised to reverse the measures if elected."

Wides-Munoz notes that "most Cuban-Americans can only visit the island once every three years and can only send quarterly remittances of up to $300 per household to immediate family members." Before Bush's 2004 tightening of the embargo, "they could visit once a year and send up to $3,000."

Political sentiment in the Cuban-American community is changing, she says. "Most Cubans now flee by boat and are forced to leave relatives behind. Fewer of these immigrants were overt political opponents of the government, and they want to be able to visit loved ones and to send money home."

She notes that Hillary supports President Bush's policy and opposes changing it.

A very informative article. But this part surprised me:"No other current top presidential candidate has sought to ease the restrictions."

Really? She gets to exclude Dennis Kucinich by use of the phrase "top presidential candidate." But what about Bill Richardson? And is John Edwards' position really the same as Hillary's?

I guess I wasn't the only one to think this, because by Tuesday evening there was a new version of Wides-Munoz' article. Now the lead paragraph (under the headline "Obama's Cuba Stand Breaks Rank") is:

Barack Obama's desire to ease U.S.-Cuba travel restrictions stands in contrast to the stances of Democratic presidential rival Hillary Rodham Clinton and most of the Republican contenders.

Implying that Obama's stand doesn't stand in contrast to the other Democratic contenders.

And, in fact, this seems to be the case, as the new article documents:

Among other Democratic candidates, Sen. Joe Biden also supports the status quo. Former Sen. John Edwards staked out the middle ground Tuesday, calling for an end to the family travel restrictions but saying he would not immediately change the remittance limits.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has also called for an end to the travel and money restrictions for Cuban-Americans, while Sen. Chris Dodd has said he would lift all travel restrictions. U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich supports scrapping the embargo.

One suspects that the original article was influenced by the "Obama is green on foreign policy" theme, which many in the media seem to have adopted.

But tallying up, of the candidates mentioned: on the travel restrictions, Obama, Edwards, Richardson, Dodd, and Kucinich would get rid of them; Clinton and Biden would keep them. On remittances, Obama, Richardson and Kucinich would remove the Bush restrictions. Five of the seven support at least some reform; Clinton and Biden support the Bush status quo. Who are the outliers?

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