Politics

Rubio Troubled By Trump's Alleged Cuba Dealings

| by Zach Cohen
Donald Trump and Marco RubioDonald Trump and Marco Rubio

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, responded to what he called "very serious and troubling allegations" that Donald Trump violated the U.S. embargo on Cuba in 1998, stating "I will reserve judgment until we know all the facts and Donald has been given the opportunity to respond."

According to the Miami Herald, the Cuban-American senator was joined by Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami, who was similarly cautious of jumping to conclusions.

"Doing business in Cuba [was] illegal, absolutely," he told reporters at the Miami Herald. But, he added, "What we have so far are unnamed sources. ... It's important to see what the facts are."

According to the Washington Examiner, Rubio wants the Trump campaign to shed some light on the story: "I hope the Trump campaign is going to come forward and answer some questions about this, because if what the article says is true -- and I'm not saying that it is, we don't know with a hundred percent certainty -- I'd be deeply concerned about it. I would." 

Time Magazine reports that in the March GOP primary debate, Rubio attacked Trump's suggestion that the U.S. embassy in Cuba be closed until the U.S. could strike "a really good deal." 

Rubio retorted that closing the embassy would have little effect. The good deal, he said, was already codified: "Here's the good deal. Cuba has free elections, Cuba stops putting people in jail for speaking out."

The Washington Examiner reports that Rubio has been an outspoken opponent of lifting the embargo, and of President Obama's Cuba policy in general.

According to Salon, Rubio supports Trump in the 2016 election, despite the hostilities they demonstrated for each other during the primaries. During the that campaign Rubio called Trump a "con artist" and "the most vulgar person ever to aspire to the presidency."

In statements supporting his party's nominee, which he originally pledged to do in Dec. 2015, Rubio seems to be less pro-Trump, and more anti-Hillary. Speaking from the Republican National Convention in July, Rubio said "Trump will repeal Obamacare, Clinton won’t...  I want someone that will defend life. I know he will and she won’t." Rubio used similar "he will/she won't" language in reference to the replacement of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. 

Rubio is currently the incumbent in a race for his Senate seat. His opponent, Congressman Patrick Murphy of Jupiter, criticized Rubio for not going after Trump for his alleged business activities in Cuba, according to the Miami Herald.

"Marco Rubio can’t even stand up to Donald Trump when he violates a Cuba policy that Rubio has made a focal point of his political career," Murphy's communication's director said, the Miami Herald reports. "Marco Rubio should disavow Trump or admit that there really isn’t an issue that matters to him more than his own personal political ambition."

Sources: Miami Herald (2), Washington Examiner, Time, Salon / Photo credit: Cristian Lazzari/marcorubio.com via Marco Rubio/Flickr

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