April 14th, 2013
10:35 AM ET
2 years ago

Jay-Z’s Cuba trip ‘hypocritical,’ says Rubio

(CNN) – Jay-Z and wife Beyoncé were bolstering an oppressive dictator when they traveled to Cuba for their anniversary, Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday.

The trip - which the Treasury Department said was officially sanctioned as cultural travel - only served to expose “the ridiculousness of the laws that we have in place,” Rubio continued on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“We are allowing people to travel to Cuba as tourists. They're delivering hard currency to a tyrannical regime who then turns around and uses that to oppress its people,” Rubio told chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé set off a firestorm of criticism when they were photographed in Havana, apparently celebrating their fourth wedding anniversary. After a request from two Republican lawmakers, the U.S. Treasury revealed the pair had traveled on a recently developed “people-to-people” license, which requires a strict itinerary for travelers.

“Quite frankly, I think it's hypocritical of the people who took that trip, because they didn't go down there and meet with some of the people that are actually in trouble today,” Rubio said Sunday.

“There's a rapper in Cuba; there's a hip-hop artist in Cuba who is on a hunger strike and has been persecuted because he has political lyrics in his songs,” he continued. “And I wish they would have met with him. If they really wanted to know what was going on in Cuba, they should have met with some of the people that are suffering there, not simply smoke cigars and take a stroll down the street.”

Later on ABC, Rubio said Jay-Z needed to "get informed" on the politics of Cuba.

"Che Guevara was a racist," Rubio said. "Che Guevara was a racist that wrote extensively about the superiority of white Europeans over people of African decent. So he should inform himself on the guy that he's propping up."


Filed under: Cuba • Marco Rubio
soundoff (467 Responses)
  1. WeWereSaneOnce

    A republican calling someone hypocritical. Too funny.

    April 14, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  2. AmericanJack

    We are all be held hostage by a small group of people in FL and West New York, NJ.......Cubans. I say put it to a vote to all of us: Should the United States changes it view on Cuba and try to reestablish diplomatic talks. I would love to go to Cuba, they are great people here so nothing to lose there, the food and for my fishing. Yet I can book a charter to fish in Cuba off a mothership but I'll like to meet the locals. They could finally get part for their cars. The poor people could make money off tourists maybe? If they get a McDonald's it's over for them.......

    April 14, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  3. Seyedibar

    If he's smart (and JayZ is), he was there scoping out real estate. Imminent resort boom ahead.

    April 14, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  4. mississippigirl2012

    Hypocrisy!!! Racist!!! Mr. Rubio look at your party.

    April 14, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  5. denis

    thanks Molloy< was going to post but you already called the corporate sponsored reps out! rubio is working for those who wouldnt let him into their homes and clubs, acting like he is one of them, hoping it will advance his career.. maybe it will for awhile but at what cost and his employers still wont welcome him into their world<

    April 14, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  6. j crew

    Che Guevara is as racist as some of rubio's miami friends and family !!!!!

    April 14, 2013 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  7. jodyhall77

    We know anonymous....all white people and only white people are racist....and you are a joke!

    April 14, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  8. Jordan Boudway

    Who cares if Jay-z and Beyonce went to Cuba? Also, who cares what Marco Rubio thinks?

    April 14, 2013 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  9. jodyhall77

    Liberal anti-American whack jobs. You people are just plain stupid.

    April 14, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  10. jodyhall77

    Anonymous...why don't you move to Cuba and live under Castro for 10 years then come back and tell us how they are such way better folks than we are and how our country would be so much better if we would just succumb to a radical leftist dictator. You should have your US citizenship stripped from you and be deported....(provided you are a citizen).

    April 14, 2013 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  11. deadwrestler

    You might want to check Pitbull new song that show's his knowledge
    of Cuba, you tube it.

    April 15, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  12. Craig

    Look – if Cuba were available for everyone to travel to, I'd honestly be interested in going. The fact is...it's not. Therefore, I honestly believe that unless you're going there for humanitarian efforts (or a political trip to try to change the situation between the countries), you shouldn't be allowed to go. Jay-Z and Beyonce being able to go just says they play by a different set of rules than everyone else. There's just no real reason they should have been allowed to travel there as American citizens.

    April 15, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  13. zandhcats

    Since when the American citizen are banned to travel to Cuba? The Tea party whine about the small government everyday, besides taking their various paid holiday breaks, they love to intervene people's private life.

    April 15, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  14. Rogue351

    It is all about money and fame, nothing more. Jay Z sees an emerging market and wants in. Money is the driving factor. Yo, Jay Z, book a flight to North Korea they are going to be in need of some new music once China slaps Kim the little Dictator out of office and unites the North and South. But you may have to share with Dennis.

    April 15, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  15. reacharound

    @Philo- Jay-Z, Beyonce, Dr.Carter are only representatives of themselve, not the entire Afro-Amer commuity. Just as Kim Kardashian,Eminem and Bill O'rielly aren't reps of all Caucasian Americans

    April 15, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  16. Jose carruchio

    What is hypocritical is having Rubio, an immigrant whose path to legal status is merely stepping foot in the US, now himself placing the obstacles other immigrants must endure to achieve legal status.

    April 15, 2013 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  17. Ryan

    Waaaahhh. He went to a prime tourist area. Big deal. News Flash, we are governed by a pretty oppressive regime ourselves. Pot calling the kettle black. Change your diapers already, America.

    April 15, 2013 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  18. Martin

    I dont't know how Che Guevara was racist, dose Rubio know that Che fought for the liberation of the Congo?

    April 15, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  19. Matthew

    I'm a Republican who has become very frustrated with my party. But I have to say I fully agree with Rubio on this. I used to work with a guy who risked his life on a raft to escape Cuba. He told me how horrible it is there, and not because of the embargo but because of how the government oppresses the people. Mr. and Mrs. Jay-Z took it upon themselves to take a trip to Cuba with complete disregard to the suffering of the people there. Did they visit the slums? Did they meet with political prisoners? No they didn't. Maybe they should use some of their wealth to attend some area studies classes so that they can be better informed and therefore avoid looking pompous in the future. For all those who say "What's the big deal? They should be able to go there." Stop and think about the political prisoners in Cuba, about the people living in fear. I wonder how they feel about the Z's visiting Cuba as the star guest of Castro. I'm even more curious if the Z's even care. Probably not, they are to busy living in lala land to care about real world issues. There's a reason our government has had the long lasting, bi-lateral, stance toward Cuba, and it's not because we are still fighting the Cold War. I bet it's okay for the Z's to visit Burma next, it's a nice tropical place. Go one keep dusting your shoulders off and putting a ring on it Z's, the dictators need your American cash to fund them. It doesn't hurt that you visiting also gives these tyrants credibility as well.

    April 15, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  20. abby1

    Marco Rubio is the hypocrite. I did not hear him complaining when the Florida Orchestra recently performed in Cuba. Also, the Director of Cuba's National Symphony Orchestra visited the US to conduct the Florida Orchestra. I heard no complaints from Marco Rubio, any other Republican politician, or the right wing talking heads.

    April 15, 2013 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  21. Judy

    This is a prime example of the pot calling the kettle. Rubio is a hypocrite, so therefor he tries to pin the label on others. I think it is past time for Rubio to just shut up and fade into the background where he belongs.

    April 15, 2013 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  22. nissassa

    of course now that jz is getting paid we have haters like rubio... it was something he wanted to do with his woman for their anniversary.. what if he wanted to take her to the great wal of china .. would rubio have a problem their as well.. hey , rubio go find another to pick on..

    April 15, 2013 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  23. Rememberwhatbushdid

    What the world needs more is co-mingling of people from other cultures and countries...not more ugly American attitudes like Marco Rubio. If the people of another country don't agree with Marco, or don't think like Marco, he wants us to either ignore or punish them. (Just the way he wants Americans with different viewpoints to be treated.) This immature Senator is a throwback to a sad, sad era in America. He IS an ugly, ugly American.

    April 15, 2013 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  24. Tj

    if guevara was a racist, then what does that make the U.S? just because you're ethnic senator it does not give you the right to ignore your own systemic racism

    April 15, 2013 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  25. BWV208

    Marco Rubio calling someone "hypocritical"???? Now ain't that the pot calling the kettle........etc ! ? ! ?

    April 15, 2013 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
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