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Senate GOP balks at Cuba embassy restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fellow Republicans have stopped GOP presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham from using an annual foreign aid funding bill to block work on a U.S. Embassy in Cuba.

The Cuban and U.S. governments announced last Wednesday they would reopen embassies in Washington and Havana.

Graham said last December that he would use any means to stop the Obama administration from opening an embassy in Havana, but on Tuesday he failed amend a $49 billion foreign aid measure to stop the project.

Graham chairs the Senate subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, but he said he didn’t know whether the panel’s Republicans would endorse a House provision to block the construction unless the Castro government fosters democracy.

The U.S. government has modest offices in Cuba. Obama has requested $6 million to improve them.

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