- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 22, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Thursday the idea of normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba is not a bad thing but that the U.S. could have gotten a better deal out of it.

“Cuba’s actually now asking for a lot of things that weren’t even talked about — did you see now where they want reparations, and they want all sorts of things that nobody even thought about, right?” Mr. Trump said on “The John Fredericks Show,” a Virginia-based radio program. “Where did this come from? Probably came because we asked for nothing and now they said, ‘Wow, let’s ask for some things.’ “

“But the concept — it’s been out there for 50 years or whatever, and I think the concept of having there be some normalization is not a bad thing. Ultimately, it’s going to be good,” he said.

Some of Mr. Trump’s GOP presidential rivals, notably Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, have been outspoken critics of President Obama’s dealing with the communist island country.

Mr. Trump did say that Cuba was having a “hard time,” and there could have been a much stronger deal.

“I was told by many people that are very familiar with the situation that he could have made a much better deal, but why are you surprised by that? You know we could have had a better deal, a much stronger deal,” Mr. Trump said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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