(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."