April 14th, 2013
10:35 AM ET
9 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. Hating Ass Dude

    This dude be hating because he doesn't get his.

    April 14, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. ST

    Can Rubio tell us what the embargo on Cuba has produced, since it was placed almost 6 decades now?

    April 14, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Lana Lately

    Oh so now you are the ones dictating where they should and shouldn't go for their anniversary? Wow.

    April 14, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Tommy

    Cuba is a place where food is scare and basic human rights are non-existent. Meanwhile Jay Z goes to Cuba, to spend money to provide from a communist government.
    By the way the United States government can dictate where you "go and don't go" as it is ILLEGAL for any American to ENTER Cuba without PERMISSION and DOCUMENTS.

    P.S ST- The EMBARGO is not supposed to produce anything, its supposed to cripple the economy but it won't work if the top importer of goods to the country is the United States.

    April 14, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Zerubbabel

    Cuba sounds a lot like the republican vision for the U.S.A. – look in the mirror Mr. Rubio, that finger that you are pointing is pointing right back at you.

    April 14, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  6. rs

    "hypocritical" (to "support" a dictator) say the Republicans. Hmmmm, I remember them selling weapons to Saddam Hussein, and many other tin-pot dictators over the years, or even acquiring their GOP Party swag from Burma under Bush (instead of , say, American clothiers).

    More delusional nonsense from the Right.

    April 14, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. rs

    The EMBARGO is not supposed to produce anything, its supposed to cripple the economy"

    Unfortunately for that convoluted bit of thinking, the embargo is hardly universal- in fact it is just the U.S.- These guys got to Cuba via Canada or Mexico. All we're doing with this embargo is losing business in Cuba. A funny economic plan for those vulture capitalist GOPpers.

    April 14, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Albert Lopez

    Marco Rubio is a traitor to his people & has been watching to much Fox news !

    April 14, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. w l jones

    African people been living all over this planet for 2.8 billion years so what wrong with them traveling where they wont to?

    April 14, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  10. ST

    @ Tommy
    What a contradiction? When you import means you receive and when you export means you send out. According to what you have wrote, do you mean that USA receives the goods from Cuba?

    April 14, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Bootstomper

    The modern Republican Party,still living in the Dark ages.

    April 14, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. Peace

    What a mess is going on in GOP? One (Rand Paul) is trying to include blacks, and another one (Marco Rubio) is chasing them away. Do these people know what they are doing? or do they ever co-ordinate?

    April 14, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Pander Bear

    The only people who give a rat's tuckus about Cuba are all the 75 year old expatriates who somehow believe that when Castro dies, they'll be able to return and reclaim land and property they haven't seen or owned since 1959. Buena Suerte with that Amigo.

    April 14, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Bessy

    Rubio should just keep quiet and the embargo of Cuba should end. It should have ended years ago.

    April 14, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. fernace

    Mr. Rubio is making the same mistake Ms.Roz-Letihnen & Mr.Diaz-Balart did! He's looking at a picture & thinks he knows the story! What does he know of Jay & Bey's trip, does he have their itinerary? Has he done any research before blasting away!? From what I have Read, they absolutely combined diplomatic ventures w/their 5th wedding anniversary, & it was their 5th, btw! Also, his words about a horrid dictator fall short, since we still have a prison facility in Cuba & seem to have no problems w/other dictator regimes (Kim Jong Un & al-Assad excluded)! It's also arrogant on our part to think our lone sanction has any impact, when the world can visit & spend their $$$ in Cuba! I'm not heartless, I understand the feelings of Cuban immigrants! They escaped an oppressive regime! 1 thing Jay-Z & Beyonce's trip has done is point out that maybe it's time we befriend Cuba again, help their people out! After all, isn't that what all the hoopla is about!!

    April 14, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. art

    Cuba does not have a Dictator...Rubio came to the US illegally via the GOPTP open AMNESTY PROGRAM for Cubans, while every other immigrant legal or illegal have to wait years to be recognized, when, for Miami Business Corporate elites they believe they should be allowed to impose their own corporate system in Cuba. Cubans will NEVER allow the US to dictate or take their struggle from them. The US created the mess there and then, the Miami Cubans created the BS there. Today, the US is the only nation that prevent Cubans from advancing, yet, Canadians, Germanys, and every other nation in the Americas visit Cuba daily....if anything Jay Z and Lady B have shown us that Cuba is an OPENED NATION and with all the US Embargo the young generation have phones, shades and clothes, they look great to me!!!

    April 14, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  17. No Party Patriot

    I wish Rubio would go to Cuba, and stay there.

    April 14, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Jill-IN

    I have coworkers in Toronto, London and other offices and many go to Cuba for vacations, without any problems and enjoy the country, its people, food, beaches and so forth. I didn't realize this until working in U.S. offices of a worldwide company. So why is the United States doing this still after so many years. It seems pointless.

    April 14, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Name lynn

    Marco who do you think you are, its sound like you have two faces on you. An the people is saying you are a trader an jay z an beyonce knows that their money dont want you in certains places.

    April 14, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. xmatman

    II can't speak for Jay-Z, but I'd say the following excerpt from a Che Guevara speech is as good a reason as any for a young, Black male – born in the 60's and raised in a Brooklyn, NY housing project – to wear a T-Shirt emblazoned with his image:

    Those who kill their own children and discriminate daily against them because of the color of their skin; those who let the murderers of blacks remain free, protecting them, and furthermore punishing the black population because they demand their legitimate rights as free men — how can those who do this consider themselves guardians of freedom? We understand that today the Assembly is not in a position to ask for explanations of these acts. It must be clearly established, however, that the government of the United States is not the champion of freedom, but rather the perpetrator of exploitation and oppression against the peoples of the world and against a large part of its own population. ~ Che Guevara: December 11, 1964, 19th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.

    Doesn't sound like a racist to me!

    Perhaps the Senator should do a little homework before attempting to speak on behalf of the entire Afro-American diaspora or insinuate who (within it) is not informed?

    April 14, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. JayZ's lips arrived in Cuba before he did

    Rubio also stated that Mr. Z needs to inform himself that Che was a racist, therefore, don't support Cuba.
    All those in favor of Mr. Rubio taking remedial American history say "I"...

    April 14, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Granola ice cream

    I'm curious as to what ties Rubio has to this Cuban hip hop artist. I want an investigation committee assembled ASAP

    April 14, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Rubies water bottle

    Rubio attacking Jay z over not helping Cubans in trouble??? I seem to remember jay z donating one million dollars to columbine, one million to victims of Katrina, one million to the victims if the twin towers, just to name a few...mr Rubio, do your research, while jay may have a checkered past, he's done much to aid and assist Americans in need. Mr. Rubio, I ask, what I'd anything have you done? How does that water taste buddy?

    April 14, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Captain Obvious

    Rubio can't even say the word "hypocritical" without being hypocritical.

    April 14, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. blackhawkmom

    As am American, I want the freedom to travel wherever the heck I want. This ban of traveling to Cuba is ridiculous and outdated.

    April 14, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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