President Obama nominated the U.S. ambassador in Cuba

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Ambassadors need a simple majority to win Senate confirmation but senators can impose a “hold” that can end the confirmation process. Obama wrote in a statement that elevating DeLaurentis’ title to “ambassador” was a “common sense step forward toward a more normal and productive relationship between our two countries.” Critics of Obama’s Cuba policy, including senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as the most vocals have remained firmly in their opposition to any nomination. They argue that Cuba must prove first “significant and irreversible progress in the areas of human rights and political freedom for the Cuban people.” Obama was the first US president to visit Cuba in a half-century earlier this year.

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