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. Patines

    Was Denis Rothman a tourist or an official delegate in North Korea? Is the president of North Korea a dictator or the defender of democracy? What's Rubio talking about hypocrisy? The missery of the Cubans in the island is implemented by the cubans in Florida.

    April 15, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Babak from LA

    Mr. Rubio .. Please shut up!

    April 15, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Just Saying

    Rubio talks about "Che Guevara" was a racist and they went there to visit Cuba.....doesn't he know that there is more than one white racist in the US that feels they are superior to blacks and guess what.... Jay and Bey LIVE HERE! Find something else to talk about....find something else to pin on Obama this want stick!

    April 15, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. 1CentFree

    Rubio is just mad that the government didn't let him go visit his real father in Cuba when he put in his request. He'll get over it.

    April 15, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. carlos

    Xavier and Lou.... well said......to hell with the corrupt Miami cuban cartel.....UGH!///PHEW!!!

    April 15, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. Klown Kardashian

    What I do find really ridiculous is the fact that Jay-Z is a retired crack cocaine, heroin and weed dealer from BK that used $250,000 drug dealing profits to finance his first album, yet rubs elbow with the President.

    Yes, I am actually a Cuban- American who voted for Obama and I wish I can take my vote back. This administration goes in par with the latest lingo trend- RATCHET. The Carter's don't give a ish about anyone but their pockets and "World Domination" since Beyonce thinks she is ruling the world. Only world they will be ruling is their daughter's.

    They need to stay the hell away from politicians. I can see the arrogant Mr. Carter (with no proper education) trying to run for Mayor of NYC, just because he is rich. Only in America, you can find a street hustler turned billionaire for putting out songs degrading women, endorsing domestic and street violence, acting "royal".

    April 15, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. Bill

    Considering all of the warm places in the world a famous couple could choose to visit, one would have to question the logic of going to Cuba.

    April 15, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. cgs

    Why does everyone think this couple is so good looking? Ugh! Beyonce looks like she has a pile of poop on her head.!

    April 15, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. imma person

    So, they will use their own money to purchase food and bed stay, that money goes to the regime to opprese its own people. Umm...how do news organizations get these pictures or even this information? Pictures and information does not come free. Media has to payroll someone to take these pictues or purchase them from some photographer. The same goes with information, payroll or purchase. And if these photographers and/or sources are in Cuba taking these pictures and/or providing this information, are not their currency being used during their stay in Cuba? And then these Media groups pay these people for their information. So, aren't you, news media, also providing currency to this oppresive regime?

    April 15, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Lenny Pincus

    And the brilliant Marco Rube-IO can explain why I went to China last year. That should be equally entertaining.

    April 15, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. ghostriter

    Eazy-E, memeber of NWA, was invited to the White House.

    April 15, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Rubio= Moron.

    April 15, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. Katz

    Good for Rubio to speak out. Why aren't CNN, MSNBC, etc writing about the the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, whose case has sparked an ongoing debate about the editorial preferences of the mainstream media. The Liberals and Dems try to hid this stuff! Yet you idiots think this is more important? Who cares where these two clowns go, they have more money than any of you will ever have and they like to flaunt it around for you to see!

    April 15, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    The negative comments to Rubio's opinion are those of people who have not lived in the regime in place in Cuba. Those who have had the priviledge of being born in the US and do not know the grief and horror suffered by Cuban immigrants who have lost their lloved ones at the hand of the Cuban government.

    April 15, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Crazy_Town

    Can we send Rubio back to Cuba?

    April 15, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. Gonzo

    What a bunch of ignorant schmucks on this blog, spitting out hate on a subject they know nothing about! Rubio's 100% right. Meet with the dissidents in Cuba, you empty tools, and then come back and tell us it's all wonderful down there. Gays, political opponents, artists. All of them.
    Jay-Z missed an opportunity; to do something brave and useful. Nahhh. He just went there for Beyonce's birthday. What a cop-out!! And what a coward!!

    April 15, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Clive

    Known Kardashian you are a real idiot. I guess China have an excellent record. I'm also assuming you we're one of mister Carter's early customer's or his accountant. You so call Cuban Americans want to maintain a Cuba policy that only help Cuban Americans live and feel superior to everyday Cubans in Cuba. While you're a critic from your comfy American life, you advocate a US policy towards Cuba that keep the Cuban people in the dark ages, while everything in your home is likely make in and are from China. You are a hypocrite and should keep your mouth shut.

    April 15, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. agreenplate

    is it Rubio's job to govern the people of Cuba and create policy for them? The US government's stance against Cuba is the number 1 factor propping up an oppressive regime there because the whole country has no choice but to unite under dictators. Freedom gives way to more freedom, Rubio is the hypocrite here.

    April 15, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. celisti

    it doesn't matter who they are, but at least culture exchange, or normal visiting from Americans should be allowed. if any celebrities want to visit Cuba and bring some joy or entertainment to Cuban people, then it is a good thing and more celebrities should do that.

    it's getting old and stupid with all that cold war sanction, embargo and etc to Cuba, when regular people are suffering from that not Cuban government.

    April 15, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  20. bob_lawbla

    So Obama repaid a favor to Mr. Carter and Ms. Knowles for their support during his campaign by letting them go to Cuba. I would call them all ignorant and obnoxious but somebody, somewhere has a race card to play.

    April 15, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. celisti

    it's time to allow everyone who wants to visit Cuba as they wish. the cold war was over long long long time ago!

    April 15, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. JEM

    We have a $trillion trade with China, million of Americans go there with no one batting an eye. Aren't they oppressive? Unfortunately in America, everything revolves around money. Basically Cuba is a small economy that we chose to ignore and oppress, but China is too big to take on, so they're our friends.

    April 15, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Mary Ann

    Marco Rubio=The Dumbing of America

    April 15, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. Y que?

    So what? B and Jay-Z going to Cuba, who cares? Get a life people! There are many other things to do other than judging other people's business.

    April 15, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. us_1776

    Rubio, you little anchor baby, quit pandering to the Miami-Cuban extremists.


    April 15, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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