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Documents offer insight into Rubio's family history but new questions arise

untitled-61.jpgOn May 18, 1956, Mario and Oriales Rubio walked into the American Consulate in Havana and applied for immigrant visas. The form asked how long they intended to stay in the United States.

"Permanently," Mr. Rubio answered.

Nine days later, the couple boarded a National Airlines flight to Miami, where a relative awaited.

So began a journey that seems as ordinary as any immigrant story, but decades later served as the foundation of an extraordinary and moving narrative told repeatedly by their third child as he became one of the most powerful politicians in Florida and then a national figure.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has come under fire for incorrectly linking his parents to the Cubans who fled Fidel Castro beginning in 1959. He insists they are exiles nonetheless, and angrily denounced the suggestion he misled for political gain.

"My upbringing taught me that America was special and different from the rest of the world, and also a real sense that you can lose your country," Rubio said in an interview.

But the visa documents cast clearer divisions between his parents, who came for economic reasons, and the Cubans who scrambled to leave their homeland but thought they could soon return. And they come to light amid new discrepancies since Rubio's timeline came under scrutiny last week. More here.viasa.jpg

-- Alex Leary

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