Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioGOP, Dems hear different things from Trump Senate committee to vote Monday on Tillerson Tillerson met with top State official: report MORE (R-Fla.) is sharply criticizing potential presidential rival Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulDems blast Trump plans for deep spending cuts Trump team prepares dramatic cuts Paul, Lee call on Trump to work with Congress on foreign policy MORE (R-Ky.) for backing President Obama's moves to open up relations with Cuba.
"Like many people that have been opining, he has no idea what he's talking about," Rubio said Thursday night on Fox News's "The Kelly File."
"The 50-year embargo just hasn't worked," Paul said. "If the goal is regime change, it sure doesn't seem to be working, and probably it punishes the people more than the regime because the regime can blame the embargo for hardship."
Paul's stance is a break from other possible Republican presidential candidates, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), both of whom criticized the president's decision. But it is Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, who has been most outspoken against Obama's actions.
Rubio said there are "holes" in the embargo that allow money, goods and visitors to flow in, and he pointed to the Cuban government as the problem.
"Look, Venezuela's economy looks like Cuba's economy now," Rubio said. "You can't even buy toilet paper in Caracas. And there's no embargo on Venezuela. What Venezuela has in common with Cuba, is they both have adopted radical socialist governmental policies.
"And I would expect that people would understand that if they just took a moment to analyze that, they would realize that the embargo is not what's hurting the Cuban people," Rubio added. "It's the lack of freedom and the lack of competent leaders."