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. frontgatee

    Screw Marko, He's worse than a hypocrite, HE'S A REPUBLICAN! HAHAHAHAHAHA

    April 15, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  2. Jerry

    Not only hypocritical; but illegal! Oops! Sorry, I forgot that if you are Mr. Obama's friend and fundraiser, you can get away with most everything! And, of course, the flunkies under HIS administration will approve whatever HE blesses; whether legal or illegal. Where is one of his biggest flunkies on this issue, See No Wrong, Do NO Wrong, Mr. Gun Runner himself, Mr. Holder?!

    América, this whole administration has no respect for the rule of law or the American populace!!!

    April 15, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Ant

    OK, I realize the missile crisis was a big slap in the face, like 2 generations ago. How long can you go on hating on your neighbor just because they do not share the same belief in 'democracy' as the US? The best way to beat oppression is to allow people to travel there to show the Cuban people that people from the mainland have it better.

    April 15, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. UDidntBuildThat

    REALITY-Che wrote the racist comments when he was 24 and first intermingled with Blacks. He later changed his views but I see this fact was not expressed in this article.
    Yeah. I see. If a Marxist, communist like Che says something racist oh its just his age. Y all trip over yourselves to make an excues. But if a opposition says it. Oh see they are all racist. There was no indicatin he changed his views. If J&B were to live under such a regime they would be broke, poverty-stricken and suffering just like the Cubans. It is hypocritical to benefit fr capitalism then walk around with a Che T shirt, somking cigars, in support of Marxism and communism, the complete opposite of capitalism!

    April 15, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Kennedy

    “A revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate. We must create the pedagogy of the The Wall!” The Wall is a reference to the wall where Che’s enemies stood before his firing squads.

    Che Guevera

    April 15, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. Timothy B.

    For a country that uses robot planes to execute foreign nationals and national nationals, without trials or due process, routinely tortures combatants and calling it legal, justifiable and useful, routinely segregates school grad dances and snorts up 250 tons of Cocaine every three months, Rubio is the perfect representative. A worthless paramecium floating in a river of shit. If hippocracy was a super power, Rubio would be Magneto.

    April 15, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. MarkinFL

    Hypocritical is Rubio using arguments against travel to Cuba that could as well be used against travel to MANY other countries that are not restricted. China anyone? Forget travel, our entire country is centered around sending as much hard currency to China as we can actually manage. Perhaps Rubio does not think China is repressive to dissenters? Perhaps Rubio is a fool.

    April 15, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Roy

    What is hypocritical is complaining about the singer's visit to Cuba when, on the other end of the island, is a prison holding political prisoners without charges and without trial. Trying to mask the inhumanity of that process by hiding them on an offshore island is really much more hypocritical for a country that used to pride itself for being on a moral highroad..

    April 15, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  9. MarkinFL

    Hypocritical is Rubio using arguments against travel to Cuba that could as well be used against travel to MANY other countries that are not restricted. China anyone? Forget travel, our entire country is centered around sending as much hard currency to China as we can actually manage. Perhaps Rubio does not think China is repressive to dissenters? Perhaps Rubio is simply a hypocrite.

    April 15, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. Wallaceboy

    Who cares! I have a friend that went to Cuba with his 60 and older baseball team to play. Nice enough people but awful place. Nothing works, government "listeners' everywhere, economic failure. We give our show biz types way too much credibility. This should never have made the news except to ask "how did this joker get permission to go there and I can not?" I also think we should end the blockade. We are not doing anything to end world socialism.

    April 15, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. K

    So many people miss the point on Cuba....it's not about the Batista regime, it's not about Castro, it's not about America's racist view against the Cuban people. Our defiance and un-forgiveness is due to the fact that Cuba allowed itself to be used by the Russian government to place nuclear weapons on its soil that directly posed a mortal threat to America. This is the issue and will always be the issue. That's like your next door neighbor putting all kinds of dangerous weapons in their yard and pointing them at your home, yard and children because some dude you disagree with doesn't like you. Would you ever forgive your neighbor for such a transgression? Forgiveness is the key here.

    April 15, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. sean

    what he said about che is a lie, have read the motorcycle diary, bolivia diary...he does not talk about white superiority unless it is refferring to the struggle they faced in white dominant countries he fought in congo alongside africans so rubio should stop maybe he meant ronald reagan who knows.

    April 15, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. Christine

    Wow! Mr. Rubio needs to get informed. Read Cuban Confidential or watch the documentary Cuba, an Africa Odyssey. Hmm better yet how about sticking to issues that really need addressing at this time and stop the smoke screen posturing.

    April 15, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Jerry

    Hey Greg (Dreg?), does this mean you are blaming the Democrats for the Cuba embargo?! Rubio had absolutely nothing to do with it. After all, Democrats were the ones pushed and promoted the Cuban embargo!

    You are right about one thing, though. Cuba, whether communist or whatever; is a beautiful country.

    April 15, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Satch99

    Ha Marco says they are supporting a corrupt regime.. He must be referRing to the US govt (and Miami politicians who are all in jail after leaving office on corruption chsrgse) the US is who also corrupt and oppressive as well, maybe not AS bad to its people, but still a horrible track record. People arrested harassed by the folks at DHS,NSA, CIA etc. those great agencies that do horrible things to get our oil.. We propped up Dictators throughout history much worse than Castro.

    How about us propping up and visiting our "Non-corrupt friends" (sarcasm) like the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Saddam, Shah of Iran n Karzai. Guess we sound a lot like those we criticize..

    April 15, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. Mike

    400,000 people from the US travelled to Cuba last year...nothing to see here....move along.

    April 15, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Mak9

    As someone whose family fled Cuba decades ago, I find it tasteless that Jay Z and Beyonce went to Cuba. I still have family there and the oppression, torture and other things that go on is disgusting. It's easy for people to sit around and state, well it's only a couple of celebrities visiting a country, when they don't release that the money spent there will be used against the people – it's blood money folks. The sad thing is, why couldn't they just go somewhere else, -why Cuba ? I think people should voice there opinion by not purchasing their crappy music.

    April 15, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Jermz

    Well of course Rubio thinks its hypocritical. Hit up wikipedia, his machinations and intentions are quite easy to deduce. The guy really isnt that complex.

    April 15, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. jesse

    Did you need more evidence this country has gone down the drain? And all this political bashing. You do realize PEOPLE the more we argue and bash one another, the MORE THEY get away with in politics. If this was a Bush friend you would never hear the end of it. Just admit it people, you have become blinded by political spin and the news media propaganda.

    April 15, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. Hypocritical? Yep.

    Sorry, Rubio is correct.

    Did any of these angry posters even read the article? No? Jay Z and Beyonce are very, very, very rich. Do liberals hate them for their wealth? Nah.....

    April 15, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. Jim

    Fifty years of embargo has been a failure! If we allowed US citizens to travel to Cuba without restrictions and communicate openly with the Cuban people, the Castros would quickly fall.

    April 15, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Charlie

    Jay Z and Beyonce don't care about the United States. They went to Cuba only for the $$$$

    April 15, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. Flagrante Delicto

    Yet, it's okay to shop at WalMart, buy computers and cell phones made in China and borrow hundreds of billions of dollars from the communist Chinese. If you don'tthink the Chi-Coms do not oppress their own people, you have never been there.

    April 15, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Magooser

    Funny, since the supreme court is full of dictators and no one whines.

    April 15, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. tribecagal

    Really Mr. Rubio get real! I know lots of people who have gone to Cuba on "cultural travel" visas. Although no JayZ/Beyonce fan you are just looking to get "ink" for yourself. Shameful.

    April 15, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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