The Miami Republican lawmakers had been pressing Trump for months to unwind former President Barack Obama’s policies, bringing up Cuba at every opportunity: Diaz-Balart when he and Rep.
As a candidate, he’d promised change to South Florida’s Cuban-American hard-liners, including Bay of Pigs veterans who endorsed him, a gesture that stuck with Trump and that he repeatedly mentioned as president.
So Rubio and Diaz-Balart advised Trump to work from the top down and impose his will over the reluctance of civil servants — including employees of two of the men in the room, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The policy rewrite, completed Wednesday ahead of Trump’s Friday announcement in Miami, represents a major political achievement for Rubio, who cited Cuba as one of the reasons for seeking reelection to the Senate last year, and for Diaz-Balart, the only one of three local Cuban-American Republican House members who endorsed Trump.
Rubio scoffed at the suggestion; at that point, he’d been talking to the White House about Cuba for months.