Obama Nominates Ambassador to Cuba, Angering Critics

Cuba Obama

President Obama nominated Jeffrey DeLaurentis on Tuesday to be the first United States ambassador to Cuba in over five decades.

DeLaurentis is a career diplomat who would be the first American ambassador to the communist island in 55 years, Yahoo News reported. He is no stranger to working with the Cuban government, serving as the Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Havana since August 2014 to help normalize relations between the two countries. DeLaurentis also worked with Havana in two former jobs he held at the State Department.

Confirming DeLaurentis will likely prove to be difficult. A simple majority of the Senate must confirm a president’s nominee, but a single lawmaker can impose an anonymous hold to delay the process. The White House faces an uphill battle as many Senate Republicans who are against normalizing relations with Cuba have threatened to vote down any pick Obama may put forward.

Obama became the first American president to visit Cuba in nearly 90 years when he traveled there earlier this year.