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That Time Marco Rubio Pretended His Parents Fled From Castro for Political Gain

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A day after Rubio had to “amend his previous statement about leaving politics,” it’s worth remembering that Rubio has built his career proving that Floridians can’t take him at his word. 

While rising in Florida politics, Marco Rubio built a compelling and very detailed personal story about his Cuban exile parents who had escaped from under Castro’s takeover to the shores of America and started a new life, never able to return back home. Rubio used this narrative to differentiate himself from other immigrants, making sure everyone knew that “nothing against immigrants, but my parents are  exiles.” 

For years, Rubio peddled a theatrical version of his ancestry. In great detail, Rubio repeatedly said that he was the “son of exiles” who escaped to America to flee communism “following Castro’s takeover.” 

In fact, he specifically wanted to distinguish between his family’s experience and that of immigrants, stressing that the “exile experience is different than the immigrant experience.”

Only problem: this story wasn’t true.

As the Washington Post revealed, Marco Rubio’s family story “embellishes facts.” Instead of fleeing Cuba following Castro’s takeover, his family immigrated to the US on a commercial flight in 1956, well before Castro took Cuba,and returned back to visit several times. And immigration documents show they had always intended to stay in the U.S. “permanently."

When people found out he was apparently embellishing details of his personal origin story for political gain, they were understandably offended.

According to the Los Angeles Times Editorial: Rubio “felt that he had a better chance of winning elections if he emphasized a narrative that portrayed him as the son of exiles even though, in reality, his story more closely mirrors that of other Latino immigrants who come to the United States in search of work.”