Thu Dec 18, 2014 AT 7:28 AM EST
President Obama announced plans Wednesday morning to normalize relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of diplomatic silence, Newsmax reports. Obama’s announcement said nothing about the Cuban government’s history of human rights abuses. Republicans immediately denounced the move. “This policy change is a gift for the Cuban government that has done nothing to provide basic, fundamental human rights to the Cuban people,” explained Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley.