Many politicians fudge small details of their lives, rounding up, as it were, when a requirement for brevity demands a less than full answer.
But there’s a special place in political hell for the politician who bases a large part of his political identity on what turns out to be a lie.
You can welcome Replublican Governor Marco Rubio of Florida to that special circle of hell.
Today’s Washington Post features an investigation of Rubio’s background that reveals he has frequently played fast and very loose with the facts of his family history.
Rubio has often repeated the compelling story of his parents fleeing Cuba to escape the revolution that threw out the American organized crime interests that had run much of the island’s brothels, nightclubs, casinos and other tourism, with the help of their toadying accomplice, the dictator Fulgencio Batista — a revolution that ultimately brought Fidel Castro to power.
In 2006, Rubio told an audience, “in January of 1959, a thug named Fidel Castro took power in Cuba and countless Cubans were forced to flee and come here, many — most — here to America. When they arrived, they were welcomed by the most compassionate people on all the Earth.”
Just one problem…
Marco’s parents, Mario and Oriales Rubio had arrived in the United States in 1956, long before Castro came to power (he was actually still in exile in Mexico at the time).
Presumably, like so many immigrants before and since, the Rubios were seeking better economic opportunities, free of the massive corruption of Batista’s Cuba and, one might imagine, perhaps even relief from the heavy-handed repression meted out by Batista’s own thugs, the secret police that carried out a wave of public torture and executions that killed as many as 20,000 on the small island.
But that story would not have played well with the violently anti-Castro politics of Florida’s Cuban exile community…
More in the Washington Post: