(CNSNews.com) - President Obama's decision to restore commercial and diplomatic ties with Cuba is "yet another tragic mistake," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told Fox News's Sean Hannity Wednesday night.
"It is the latest manifestation of the failures of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy. After six years we've seen a pattern now where our friends and allies, they no longer trust us, and our enemies, they no longer fear us. First it was Russia, then it's Iran, then it's Cuba. And consistently, what President Obama has endeavored to do is to show weakness and appeasement towards our enemies.
"You know, right now, Cuba, an oppressive totalitarian dictatorship just 90 miles off our shore that is an avowed enemy of this country -- the Cuban regime was struggling and is dependent on Venezuela, which is hurting because of plummeting oil prices; and right when the regime is struggling, President Obama stepped in to throw an economic lifeline. And I think that presents a serious danger to our national security."
Cruz, whose father fled Cuba in the 1950s, said he objects not only to President Obama's appeasement, but also to the prisoner swap:
"And indeed there is another component of this deal. Not only is it the sort of appeasement that we saw -- if you remember the beginning of Obama's presidency in 2009, one of the first things he did was cancel the anti-ballistic missile batteries that were scheduled to go into place in Poland and the Czech Republic. He did that in an effort to appease and Putin, and we've seen that appeasement didn't work as Putin has now invaded Ukraine, a sovereign nation. And the weaker the president appears, the more bellicose and aggressive Putin is.
"Likewise in Iran, this Iran deal being negotiated. Iran was struggling under sanctions. They were on the point of collapse, and Obama, just like he's doing with Cuba, stepped in with a lifeline, relaxed sanctions, and is in the process of trying to negotiate a very, very bad deal.
"And here likewise with Cuba, not only is he throwing the oppressive dictators, the Castro brothers, a lifeline, but he's also doing something reminiscent of the Bowe Bergdahl deal where for Sergeant Bergdahl he released five senior Taliban terrorists. In this instance he's releasing three Cuban spies who were responsible for the murder of four American citizens for spying on U.S. military installations, including the southern command. And it's just dangerous and it's misguided."
Cruz said Obama doesn't understand that "weakness is provocative."
"I'm reminded of something Reagan said about the far left. It's not what they don't know. It's that so much of what they know just isn't so. We all knew leftists in college that had posters of Che Guevara on the wall because he was such a sleek, good-looking leftist. Never mind that he was an oppressive, brutal murderer. They nonetheless glorified him.
"And unfortunately, the foreign policy views of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy is they do not understand the nature of our enemies, they do not understand that weakness is provocative. And the Castros are looking at the president demonstrate weakness to Putin, demonstrate weakness to Iran, and they're taking advantage of this to get an economic lifeline from the Obama administration."