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Marco Rubio talks about the 'painful' immigrant-exile experience.

Sen. Marco Rubio just gave us a call to explain why he was so offended with a recent Washington Post story that said he "embellished" the story of his parents arrival. Rubio repeatedly has given different dates, often 1959. They came in 1956 first (before the Castro revolution). Rubio said his error was just a mistake based on an oral history that dates back half a century.

A partial transcript:

"The essence of the story was not the date. Without any research or any backing, he asserts there’s a functional difference. What’s the essence of my story is how I’m the child of immigrants and the child of exiles and how that led me to reach to political conclusions and led me to politics and to succeed.

"It was very painful to them. The exile experience was painful. The inability of my dad to take to place he used to play baseball. He was never able to see his two brothers before they died. My mom was never able to take us to the place where she met my dad, or where they got married. The things that people do with their kids they were never able to do because the place was off limits to them. It was just a deep part of their psyche. They couldn’t believe Cuba had become a Communist country. Never in their wildest nightmares did they think it would become part of the Soviet bloc or that the revolution would outlive my dad.

"I didn’t lie about the date. I wasn’t aware of it. (The inaccurate date on his Senate bio)

"It’s irrelevant to the central narrative. The date doesn’t really add anything. It doesn’t embellish anything. The date is less relevant than the experience, the experience of people who came here to make a better life and who could never go back.

"(The Washington Post) is acting like how I gave a story that my parents were political prisoners and that my dad sneaked out on a rubber boat and fought in the Bay of Pigs. I never said any of that stuff. The date, yeah, I got it wrong. But my broader point is the date doesn’t add anything to the story. The story is why they came and the fact they stayed.

"They came because they’d have chances to do things they couldn’t do in Cuba. It was both economic and political. After the revolution, like millions of people, they hoped it would bring change. But in 1961, when my mom went back, she returned after a few weeks. It was just before the Bay of Pigs.

"My parents immigrated legally to this country, though the existing legal immigration process. My parents came with immigration visas. I’m a big fan of legal immigration. That’s how my parents entered the US, not through the Cuban Adjustment. Not through some special exemption."

Comments

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sue azia

It is very different to choose toleave a country for better economic opportunities and be able to take your money etc than to flee cuba for your life under castro. No wonder conservative marc rubio has no sympathy for the immigrants and the poor and middle class. He used the cuban crisis many times as a political point to vote for him. He lied and dont tell me he did not know the difference. It is not a year but whether his parents fled cuban dictator castro.

Don

Did Marco Rubio's family escape a left wing dictator in 1959 or abandon a right wing dictator in 1956?

Jim austin

Disgraceful. Not the first politician to embellish their cv when running for office, but hopefully Floridians will learn from this and vote him out.

J B

For a Cuban American, whether your family came to the USA before or after 1959 would be fundamental - not something you wouldn't know. Rubio has been caught in a big misrepresentation of his family's past. He should come clean. His parents came to the USA when Batista led Cuba - 3 years before Castro came to power.

Lydia Shay

The experience is one thing - factual information is another. Every person knows from where and when their parents came to America. I don't buy it! "I didn’t lie about the date. I wasn’t aware of it." Spoken like a true politician.

Abel Delgado

For those people who think only the far-right espouses anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic views, overtly simplistic, and down-right ignorant views, the WaPo stories and the opportunism of Democrats shows the left could be just as bad.

Mark Anderson

Why is it anti-Hispanic to point out that Rubio is
lying?

Gisele

Marco Rubio is the picture of the Cuban community: They are not political exiles, they are economical exiles, like all other immigrants, but they do not have to follow the same rules the other immigrants do.
They use Castro to get entry to the USA. Unlike other immigrants they have immediate to every benefit the government offers such as food stamps, medicare, medicaid, and of course a fast track to a voter registration, so they can elect more Cuban-Americans and keep they special entitlements.
The last thing the Cuban community wants is the end of communism in Cuba, because they will be like every other immigrant.

Robert Jenkins

Marco all you have done is harm with your lies. Now many people like myself must ask the difference in one leaving Cuba today for economic reasons; and one leaving , say Haiti? What of a person leaving Mexico, or Costa Rica, or China? What now could be an honest rational for Wet foot, dry foot? You have done a great dis-service to Cubans, by Valor Robados. Now within a very short time Cuban's will now face the same immigration standards as "all" others. Yes you stand for legal immigration boldly; but did you really mean to harm your own kind? Many "White" people agree with you, continue to be their "boy".

Mark

This idea that the dates were just an innocent "slip" is pretty hard to swallow. The Castro revolution was a huge event in Cuba and burned in the minds of anyone who left that country. The idea that his parents wouldn't remember if they left before or after, and that the Post was about to learn the truth in more detail than Marco ever bothered to, jeesh. Sorry, can't buy it.

It's a little like saying, "My dad used to work right across the street from the World Trade Center in NYC, but he's a little hazy on whether it was before or after 9/11."

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