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(CNN) - Florida Senator Marco Rubio strongly condemned the Obama administration's shift in Cuban policy Wednesday, deeming it "a terrible arrangement for democracy and the Cuban people."
"Just think about what message does that send if you are a dissident on the island of Cuba. Imagine, for example, the "Ladies in White." This is a group of women who fight - every Sunday go to mass dressed in white and afterward march down the street in silent protest, sometimes not silent protest, for the tyrannical nature of this regime. They are summarily, systematically and regularly beaten, jailed. They're harassed during the week by the Cuban government. Imagine how they feel now to know that Barack Obama has fully embraced the Cuban government and would visit there, and as to further legitimize that," Rubio proposed to CNN's Jake Tapper. "What does that say for people who are fighting for freedom and liberty in Cuba and resisting the tyranny right now?"
The Republican Senator, who is of Cuban descent, added that the United States' "unilateral concessions," including normalizing diplomatic relations, is "a reconciliation of the Cuban government's legitimacy."