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. Random

    The best thing about Cuba is that the resorts are free of American tourists. Lots of cool people from U.K. , Canada and France.

    April 15, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. arthur edwards

    The trip by JayZ/Beyonce was both COMMON and LEGAL. There is a program which allows thousands of Americans each year the opportunity to visit Cuba as cultural exchange. They went as part of this program. Mark, el estúpido, knows this. This is just a case of jingoism for his Cuban voters.

    April 15, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Lisa

    I've traveled to China, and Vietnam... both communists regimes. Why are we allowed to travel there?

    While I disagree with Jay-Z going.... I disagree with Rubio's reason why as well. Most of us wouldn't be allowed to, open it up and let any American go, not just the rich and famous who can get permission.

    Canadians and Europeans go and already are "bolstering an oppressive dictator ", It's ridiculous we can't go, this law need to be repealed asap.

    April 15, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. Bobby Davis

    Hey Jerry Just think for a moment.If it was not for the Democrats (POTUS ) JFK ,Today you could be speaking Russian.

    April 15, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Al

    Due to skin color, this will be brushed under the rug and this pair shall be excluded from having to follow the law.

    April 15, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Analyzethis79

    When will the American people learn to simply MIND THEIR BUSINESS! Report on something useful instead of being worried about their life. All last week and even this morning, all that was on your minds is how they went to Cuba. YEAH SO WHAT they went to Cuba.

    April 15, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Joe Mama

    Uh-oh a Republican said something. Therefor all of the people making posts will suddenly have a strong opinion in the opposite direction on something they hadn't given any thought to before. Pretend that Republican politicians are the only corrupt, self-serving ones. Ignore the government elite letting their elite friends show off by giving them a pass to do something the common folk are not allowed to do. It's ok because they have a D next to their name. That automatically means they are trustworthy and not out for themselves. You can't fake something like having a D next to your name.

    April 15, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. ED FL

    There isn't a better judge of hypocrites that the one that is making that statement. The well known Cuban crook knows hypocrites when he sees one . Wonder if he is ever going to pay back all the state funds he used to fix his house ,cars and massage parlors.Come on Rubio let the Florida tax payers know where their money went.

    April 15, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |

    Why are we allowing "sanctioned" trips? Only people who have cuban roots/families should be "sanctioned" to visit. Jay-Z and beehive went there for the very reason this article appears- to corner media attention. Exactly what culture are they interesed in? The culture of abuse and oppression?

    April 15, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Peach

    We can only HOPE that they both stay in Cuba. I only wish they had taken their president with them.......

    April 15, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Hypo

    Right. Jayz going to Cuba is hypocritical......right....what about American's trading with China and their tyrannical regime?

    April 15, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. jrcomo35713

    Why is this such a big deal, the crisis was over since the 1960's for crying out loud...What's the worst that can come out of this...people in Cuba chanting "Put a Ring On It"...and oh by the way, would you please drop the sanctions already.

    April 15, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. jboHDrider

    Jesus Rubio is a jackwagon. There is no reason on earth that we should have all these santions against Cuba in place.

    April 15, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. Brock Landers

    Don't get on Rubio's case, he is making a valid point, BUT, Jay Z is allowed to do whatever he wants, i don't care about his politics, cause if he was allowed to travel and see all parts of Cuba, he would realize the BLACK cubans are not in the government and are segregated, but hey, what do i know? I believe all cubans who have traveled there would confirm my statement on how well blacks are treated there. THANK YOU hypocrits!!

    April 15, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Ebony

    The only reason Rubio is making this an issue is because the GOP's grand puba Rush Limbaugh initiated the fake outrage last week on his radio show. Limbaugh is the master of orchestrating controversy. Remember Operation Chaos?

    April 15, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Lardoggy

    Not cool that only special people get to go to Cuba under special programs,sounds like a inside deal to me.I think all American should have the chance to go without special program,that would be fair to all.

    April 15, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. Robert

    Who cares? Jay-z is not a government official. Why does anyone care? Besides, Cuba hasn't been a threat to the US for a long time. Jay-z probably just wants to stash up on some Cuban cigars.

    April 15, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. luke,az

    Rubio is typical of the fear mongering republican. President Obama breaks down barriers while republicans just want to "build the dang fence"

    April 15, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. noly972

    Sadly, the embargo will never be lifted as long as Fidel Castro lives. It isn't an embargo against Cuba so much as an embargo against him.

    April 15, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Anomic Office Drone

    If we want to talk hypocrisy let's talk about a "free" country that imposes travel restrictions.

    April 15, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Dan I

    I think Rubio needs to stop worrying about what Beyonce and Jay-Z are doing and actually do the job he was elected to do. Ya know, LEGISLATE.

    April 15, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  22. Dustin

    I read a lot about Che and never once have I heard that claim

    April 15, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. MaryM

    GOP anchor baby, Rubio needs to educate himself on cultural exchange which is LEGAL.

    April 15, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Dustin

    Furthermore, whats the difference of people suffering in Cuba and people suffering in your state Rubio, should we go and interview them and ask them what you have done for them?

    April 15, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. Random

    Everyone is so upset that JayZ and Beyonce, but what about the Cubans that flee Cuba (dry foot wet foot) over the last few years to return to Cuba to show off....Flashing money around, gold chains on, renting rental cars. No one says anything about them. What about the dozen of travel agencies in south Florida promoting trips to Cuba. No one is comments about that.

    April 15, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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