Appearing on MSNBC Friday afternoon, former Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) received a browbeating from hosts Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi when he tried to make the case that President Donald Trump’s planned rollback of relations with Cuba was due to the small island nation’s human rights history.
President Trump is scheduled to address Cuba Friday afternoon during a speech in Miami, and Martinez was invited on MSNBC to make Trump’s case for him.
According to Martinez, Trump will offer “measured changes” to former President Barack Obama’s Cuban policy proposals, and defended Trump’s decision by decrying Cuba checkered history with dissidents.
Velshi then pointed out that Trump was not so squeamish when it came to Middle Eastern rulers.
“I understand sir, but you saw that President Trump was doing a sword dance with the Saudis,” Velshi explained.. “I’m not comparing human rights, I’m saying we celebrate with some people who are absolute human rights abusers, and then we get crazy about Cuba.”
“Because Cuba is a horrendous human rights abuser,” Martinez shot back.
“So is Saudi Arabia!” both Velshi and Rule replied simultaneously before Velshi added, “So is Iran, so is China.”
“You can’t compare the geopolitical significance of China, or the opportunity for business in China, with those in Cuba,” Martinez responded.
Watch the video below via MSNBC: