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. North Dallas Don

    I suggest that Marco Rubio "get informed" on the condition of America and the millions who go to bed hungry every night, and the tens of millions who put off health care because they lack insurance, and on and on and on. Marco Rubio has little room to speak on the conditions of Cuba when his own political philosophy works toward maintaining a subservient class in our nation.

    April 15, 2013 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  2. John Kihika

    That is so embarrassing.

    April 15, 2013 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  3. hypatia

    What is hypocrticial is Rubio pretending to care about anything but stealing some PR time.

    April 15, 2013 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  4. TruthandConsequence

    Rubio is a Cuban American...protecting his flanks with his Cuban base is smart politics for him, but he plays a fool's game on the Gang of Eight committee to pass "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" (CIR) – always code for amnesty. Just as it is important for him to reassure his Cuban base, it is also important for him to reassure his broader GOP base that CIR is not "amnesty". To him, a give away to 15 millions is not amnesty if they have to wait a little longer or pay fines and taxes. To most of us whose heads are on straight, amnesty is when over night no one lurking in the shadows of their illegality, no longer has to fear deportation or competing for jobs and welfare, education and health benefits. That will happen on the day CRI is passed....and that is amnesty.

    April 15, 2013 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  5. suzybee

    Sen. Rubio is a bit loose with facts on Che Guevara. True Che Guevara's early diaries spoke negatively of blacks when he had his first contact with blacks at the age of 24, but later in life gave much support to blacks in their fights against inequality, injustice, and racism. From his diary later in his life he wrote:

    "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?"

    Hardly the words of a racist. Shows how a politician can pick and choose facts for their benefit.

    April 15, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  6. Rick

    The true hypocrites are those who oppose travel to Cuba yet have no problem with trade and travel to any number of other oppressive regimes and dictatorships around the world. If Cuba was rich most Repugs would be all for trade with them.

    April 15, 2013 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  7. gator21

    Among other demographics that Obama swept up in November, south Florida Cubans, who have voted Republican since Kennedy refused to send in the Marines, voted to reelect President Obama.

    April 15, 2013 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  8. nc1965

    After Rubio's last anti-State of the Union debacle, ee should find a hole and hide in it.


    April 15, 2013 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  9. J.R

    Mr. Rubio needs to check his facts. The racism came from a young naive Che. Not the same Che that aided in Africa against the "greedy americans". Check your history books before you people speak...ask of them, not just your favorite ones.

    April 15, 2013 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  10. Bob Ramos

    Jay-Z and wife Beyoncé were bolstering an oppressive dictator when they traveled to Cuba for their anniversary, Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday.
    Rubio's primary motive in the above is to please the elderly cuban american community that gave him the money to campaign. Both J-Z and Beyonce had the right to travel to Cuba and they even got permission from the American government to do so.

    Finally, as long as we have Gitmo and the rendition affairs in our recent past, we have no credibility in the field of human rights.

    April 15, 2013 04:29 am at 4:29 am |
  11. Greg Gould

    ,Marco Rubio is hypocritical – his parents came to the US and they were granted automatic citizenship only because they were from Cuba. He is the LAST person that should criticize anyone that wants to come to this country and become a citizen. Nor should does he have the right to criticize what other US citizens do. Shame on him! I'm embarrassed that he is a senator for my state for the US Senate!!!!

    April 15, 2013 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  12. Ryan Evans

    this reminded me of the other day... a black mormon came a-pounding on my door. quite puzzling really... why would you join a reigion who's holy prophet says you aren't even a human being? humans are puzzling...

    April 15, 2013 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  13. Tony in St Louis

    The GOP loves to generate their own "crisis", then act as if it's really relevant. I'm willing to bet that 97% of Americans could care less about where Jay & Be spent their anniversary, or what they did while there. I'm included in that 97% The world is watching you, and you continue to appear out of touch, like a drunk uncle at the family reunion. For a party that hates regulation, and loves to scream about peoples rights, you sure like sticking your nose in other peoples business! Shut up and get some work done! Help create a job or two, ...geez!

    April 15, 2013 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  14. NameSenator Rubio

    You need to get your fact straight before you open your mouth and show your brains.

    April 15, 2013 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  15. arvay

    Rubio is a liar.

    Guevara provided leadership for the Angolan-Cuban forces that defeated the apartheid regime in "Operation Carlota" in Angola in 1975. The US was supporting the apartheid forces.
    Rubio is a descendant of the white-only upper class installed by the US when it took over Ci=uba.
    His name in Spanish means "blond."
    He's the scion of racists and racism.

    April 15, 2013 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  16. Clarke

    Oh my, this is just silly. Maybe he should be looking at the treasury department for making the approval.

    April 15, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  17. D27k9446

    The Facts, Cuba sent soldiers to Africa fighting against white regime. USA, talked against white regime in South Africa. US. Constitution degraded Indians and "Negros" long ago, &Republicans worked for minorities long ago. Time changes things American Indians and Black Americans are addressed in the Constitutional Sharing Equal Rights ;and Republican Party changed after Democratic President Johnson signed t Equal Rights Amendment now they are the Dixie's Republicans . To say, this time change people change. Maybe Cuba political government change too? US of America has changed for the better.

    April 15, 2013 05:50 am at 5:50 am |
  18. Harley

    Who cares. Jay Z & B are trash anyway. They should have stayed.

    April 15, 2013 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  19. saggyroy

    I love it when a pol calls someone hypocritical.

    April 15, 2013 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  20. David

    "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?" Che Guevera.
    Rubio is just another Republican trying to fit the round peg of history into their little square hole.

    April 15, 2013 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  21. Marie MD

    Because if any knows a hypocrite it's certainly aqua man from Florida.
    I bet the Cuban anchor baby is the first one to keep the US from, once again, opening relations with Cuba.
    We do business with China, Iran, Iraq, the Saudis but NOT Cuba??? It's time to open relations with the island and let the Cuban people travel to/from and for the rest of us to be able to travel to Cuba if we want to.
    The older Cubans in Florida shouldn't have the last word anymore. The new generation is largely Democratic and I bet they would love to visit the island of the great and grandparents!

    April 15, 2013 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  22. Ceasar

    So, I guess Rubio wants to make it illegal for US citizens to travel to Saudi Arabia as well? Oh wait; that oppressive regime is our ally.

    April 15, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  23. Shaun

    This entire discussion by the republicans is hypocritical. I live in Miami and i have friends from Cuba who go to Cuba for vacation. There are flights leaving from Miami to Cuba daily. So before you criticize J-Z and his wife talk to all the Cubans in Miami who fly there at least once a year and send a tremendous amount of money back home to their family there!!

    April 15, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  24. mattski

    Rubio comes form Florida which has received millions and millions in federal aid for hurricane relief over the years, and goes to the House Chamber to vote "no" on Sandy relief for New York. I can't think of anything more hypocritical than that. And neither fellow Republican can Pete King.

    April 15, 2013 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  25. bowers

    Get over this; it's not as if those two are intellectuals.

    April 15, 2013 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
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