Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine said that a Clinton Administration would “pay more attention to Latin America” than the Obama administration, adding that the United States has looked east and west in the past, but not enough to the south.
Kaine, who speaks Spanish and lived in Honduras as a young missionary, said in an interview with the Miami Herald and “Oppenheimer Presenta” on CNN en Espanol late Friday in Melbourne, that President Obama’s opening to Cuba opens new opportunities to work with Latin American countries who were critical of U.S. policies to the island.
He said a Clinton administration would not “return to the past” on U.S. ties with Cuba, but that the pace of U.S. overtures to the island will depend on Cuba’s human rights record, and “right now Cuba is not improving its human rights situation.”
The process of continuing to improve ties with Cuba “can be fast or slow. It depends on the actions of the Cuban government,” Kaine said, speaking in Spanish. “We have to work on that, and push them.”
If Clinton wins the Nov. 8 elections, Kaine would be the point man for U.S. Latin American relations, top Democratic Party officials say.