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UM prof: WaPo's Marco Rubio story "falsely" represents Cuban exile experience

Here's a letter we just received from Andy S. Gomez, Assistant Provost & Senior Fellow at the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban & Cuban-American Studies. Disclosure: He's a Democrat:

The Washington Post seems to have very little understanding of the Cuban exile experience and what it means to be an exile. Marco Rubio’s family was forced to stay in America because they refused to live under a communist system. That makes them exiles. It makes no difference what year you first arrived. The fundamental Cuban exile experience is not defined according to what year Cubans left, but rather by the simple, painful reality that they could not return to their homelands to live freely.
Further, The Washington Post falsely and without proof, writes that “being connected to the post-revolution exile community gives a politician cachet that could never be achieved by someone identified with the pre-Castro exodus, a group sometimes viewed with suspicion.”
This is simply false. I have spent my career studying the Cuban exile community and can say with authority that no distinction is made within the exile community between those who arrived in the years leading up to the revolution, and those who came after. They all share the painful heritage of not being able to return home. It's no wonder The Washington Post made this claim without a single bit of proof to back it up. Because it doesn't exist.
In the Cuban exile community, there are many stories like Marco Rubio’s family.  Many children of exiles don’t know precisely what dates their parents left Cuba, went back to Cuba or ultimately determined Cuba was heading in the wrong direction under Castro.  But they do know that the reason they were born in the United States or now live here is because their parents are exiles because they refused to raise them in Castro’s Cuba.


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So, not being able to return after voluntarily leaving your country to become permanent residents in the U.S. three years prior to the revolution is the equivalent to fleeing the Castro regime? Got it.


A lie is a lie is a lie.


The Cuban exile is a complex and unique –to the one who experiences it- figure. Agree with Gómez on that. Clearly, Rubio’s family, after the arrival of Castro to power in Cuba, became part of the Cuban exile. Were the circumstances and particular historical facts manipulated for political reasons? That’s a different subject.

Joshu Jones

I tend to agree with Mr. Gomez, but obviously Marco Rubio doesn't. Otherwise, why did he doctor his bio? Nobody would mistake the year their parent emigrated to a foreign county.

daily news

So, not being able to return after voluntarily leaving your country to become permanent residents in the U.S. three years prior to the revolution is the equivalent to fleeing the Castro regime? Got it.
daily news


The ignorance on Marxist regimes, particularly in Cuba, still amazes me fifty years after leaving home via the Pedro Pan Children's Program. Sadly, most Americans today still do not recognize the dangers our country faces under Obama because the media have kept them in darkness. If they only had listened to the Cuban exiles instead of the Washington Post elitists, We the People, would had never elected this President. Does anyone wonder why the WP or the NYT has never published any real life story of a Cuban exile?


Gomez writes: "They all share the painful heritage of not being able to return home."

Cubans fled their country instead of staying and fighting for its liberation. That's why they don't have a country.


Professor Gomez needs a dictionary..

1. expulsion from one's native land by authoritative decree.
2.the fact or state of such expulsion: to live in exile.
3. a person banished from his or her native land.
4. prolonged separation from one's country or home, as by force of circumstances: wartime exile.
5. anyone separated from his or her country or home voluntarily or by force of circumstances.

Rev Dr E Buzz

It would be one thing if it was just the one country against the exiles...

But, it was Cuba and the Soviet Union, plus the USSR satellites that destroyed Cuba.

A bit of a different predicament.

it's like saying the North Korean people have it coming to them, living in a prison state.

If the could ONLY JUST FIGHT!

Ridiculous and disturbing...coming from the Washington Post, it is horrible. Whose side are the on?


John, do you understand how to read a dictionary? Look at number 5 and tell me why that doesn't fit what Professor Gomez has said.

Murray Miles

Um ... 5. anyone separated from his or her country or home voluntarily or by force of circumstances.
But I'm sure others know better than an exile himself what it is to be an exile.


What does it matter? I mean, really. This is just a hit piece and a ridiculous one at that. We should be asking ourselves how the man is working for his constituents. Real Journalism is dead, it's been completely politicized.

Ron Decker

Am I missing something here? Isn't this about Rubio's nationality? Doesn't Rubio's birth in Miami qualify him as being an American? There are babies being born as we write whose parents are NOT U.S. citizens yet the infant will be classified as American citizens. Anchor-babies, I believe they're called.

If Rubio's parents were exiles for whatever reason then so be it. Either voluntarily or not they fled Cuba. Marco Rubio was born later in Miami and, as far as I'm concerned, he's a U.S. citizen.


The Washington Post article about Rubio just showed once more how the newspapers think their political ideology is more important than the truth. Prepare for even more lies in 2012!

Lynda Fox

I'm not sure why you're all swooning over another ineligible. It's like looking back to 2008, and, learning that barrhy is a god. Now, here is the media trying to cover up the lying mess of yet another politician. Rubio is not eligible for high office,m and, while I still take breath, another usurper will never darken the doors of our WH again.
Exile, my *ss

Craig McCarthy

I'm baffled by all this. Are some claiming that the Cuban revolution lasted one day, and that no one had ever heard of Castro before 1959 or could have seen the dangers? Shame on Einstein for leaving Germany prior to 1938!


Do the commenters believe that Cuban history began with the regime of the Castro brothers and Che? Have they not heard or read of Batista and his regime of oppression that preceded Castro?

Go back and read some history.


The problem with this counter point is that Rubio is the one that has to state it. It cannot be done just theoretically. Rubio is not just the subject matter of a study that is in the academic world. Rubio can clear this all up by coming out in public and saying "My parents never really clarified our personal history. I assumed I was a member of a exile family just like everyone else was. I apologize over the confusion" However, he did not say that. He said, "What's the big deal over some misunderstood dates." He has to man up and do this himself not really on a crutch coming from Ivory tower academia.


Ok, I may willing to give him more the benefit of the doubt. In the Huffington Post he was quoted in saying that, The Republican senator said

"After arriving in the United States, they had always hoped to one day return to Cuba if things improved and traveled there several times." He added, "In 1961, my mother and older siblings did in fact return to Cuba while my father stayed behind wrapping up the family's matters in the U.S. After just a few weeks living there, she fully realized the true nature of the direction Castro was taking Cuba and returned to the United States one month later, never to return."

As the UM professor stated, not all of the members of our Cuban American generation ever received specific clear facts from our parents over our precise history. If he later found out his correct history when he questioned his family, I don't necessarily have reason to disbelieve him.

However, I would really like to know when he was quoted in saying that he didn't think that giving correct dates was that important.


I read th Washington Post because I know their leftist agenda so when I see them targeting someone then I know that person they are trying to discredit is a theat to their leftist agenda.

The Post's enemy is my friend

Robert Jenkins

This is odd; this tale of person's living away from their homeland. Yet in 1961, Mrs. Rubio and her children returned to Cuba. Within 30 days "deciced" she could not stay. It was "her" decision. One; granted I would make myself. Cubans have long had the luxury of deciding when and if to leave Cuba and have a fresh start here. That is good, that is right, as this is America. Marco votes against other persons who come here for economic reasons? That is wrong; that is most wrong. His claim has been changed on his Senate Bio; that speaks volumes to any "honest" person who listens.


this makes my blue eyes red...ick!

Maria V.

Hey, Bill!
What do you mean we didn't fight?
Remember the Bay of Pigs?
Oh, right, it's something this country would rather forget, especially the Dems. Since we did go in and fight, even after we had been left high and dry by that mythified figure, the president of "Camelot", JFK. And guess what? We do have a country, the good, ole US of A.

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