Larry Klayman
The hypocrisy and deceit of Marco Rubio
By Larry Klayman
September 28, 2015

"I think that the most important thing a president will ever do is provide for the national security of our country, and I think up to now, he (Trump) hasn't really answered serious questions about our national security. Until he does, there should be serious concerns, not just about him but about any candidate that's not able to speak in detail with clarity and with seriousness, about the national security threats we face."

– Marco Rubio on Fox News, Sept. 24, 2015

As a Florida citizen and as someone who ran for the Senate seat in 2004 Marco Rubio now occupies, I have followed with interest the career and presidential ambitions of my fellow Floridian. (See "Rubio's not da man." I also take a special interest as someone who has himself tried to help the plight of Cuban-Americans, having legally represented the Miami family of Elian Gonzalez toward the end of his sad return to the Castro brothers, bringing a lawsuit for Cubans who were gassed by former Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno outside the family's home just before he was seized by her Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) the day he was forcefully taken from the family, and a Hispanic INS agent who came forward, only to be retaliated against by Reno, for revealing the truth about this illegal raid snuffing out freedom for Elian. The saga of Elian's forced return to Cuba broke the spirit of the Miami Cuban community, which has never since recovered.

Years earlier, just after Sept. 11, 2001, I also traveled to Brussels, Belgium, with Jose Basulto, the heroic founder and leader of Brothers to the Rescue, a group of brave Cuban-Americans who flew sorties in small Cessna planes over the Florida Straits, aiding in the rescue of Cubans who have consistently fled the brutal Hitleresque, communist regime in small boats for dry land in Miami. Basulto and several other victims traveled with me to file a criminal complaint against the Castros, seeking justice for their crimes against humanity. These communist, atheist dictators had even ordered their military to sink and kill a boatload of children in the Havana Harbor who were seeking, like Elian's mother, to flee for freedom in Miami. Other victims were imprisoned for over 20 years before finally freed. One told me about how his wife was brought by the regime to his prison cell and raped by Castro's armed prison guards right in front of him, among many other heinous atrocities committed against my other victim clients.

At the time, Belgium had a law that allowed for jurisdiction for private individuals to prosecute international crimes that occurred anywhere in the world. No such law existed in Florida or any other jurisdiction in the United States. But a little while later, when Palestinians used the law to try to prosecute President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for their alleged crimes in the war against terror and their support of Israel, the Bush administration threatened that if the law was not repealed the United States would push NATO members to move its headquarters out of Brussels, the Belgium parliament caved in and repealed the law.

I later brought suit against the Castros and their military for Jose Basulto in the federal court in Miami, as a few years earlier they had ordered the shoot-down of Brothers to the Rescue planes trying to save rafters over the Florida straits. While Jose, by the Grace of God, had miraculously survived, four brothers were killed when Cuban Migs shot their planes out of the air. Fortunately, we won the case and Cuba was ordered to pay nearly $2 million dollars in damages to Basulto. The damage award remains unpaid, not surprisingly, as the Castro brothers do not respect American law.

When I ran for the Senate in 2004 as a "True Republican," it was against another Cuban-American, Mel Martinez, who had been W's secretary of housing and urban development. Mel was drafted by Karl Rove to try to draw Latino votes during W's 2004 re-election campaign. While my campaign slogan for the Miami Cuban community was "Quitemos Castro Ahora," or "Lets Get Rid of Castro Now" – meaning lets overthrow him by whatever means we can including covert CIA assassination – Mel looked the other way and actually advocated against his overthrow. Mel, like Rubio today in his presidential run, made much of his Cuban heritage and his family fleeing the Castros. But like Rubio, neither man has ever done anything concrete, much less successfully, for his own people – other than empty rhetoric on the campaign trail. While Mel was barely elected to the Senate seat Rubio now holds, the two good-talking but do-nothing "Republicans" stand in stark contrast to this Jewish Christian gringo who had stuck his neck out for their people. And, stick my neck out I have; in a television interview before his press organ, Granma, Fidel branded Jose Basulto and me "the two biggest enemies of the Cuban people."

It is telling that Rubio, who boasts of his hard line toward Cuba, has not demanded, at a minimum, that before relations with Havana were opened by the Obama administration, the Castros agree to pay the judgment to Jose Basulto and other victims who have judgments against Cuba for its human rights atrocities. Nor has Rubio taken any other real action to block the regime's re-legitimization.

This Rubio hypocrisy and deceit squares not only with the senator's do-nothing blowhard talk, but also the hard fact that he has misrepresented at the outset of his presidential campaign that his father had fled Castro's Cuba. In fact, his dad had freely left the island during the reign of rightest President Raul Batista, the Castros' predecessor, who his father supported. So Marco's father did not escape communism to become a simple bartender, as he touts so often. Similarly, Rubio has been caught lying on other occasions during his political career.

Then there is Rubio's similar boasting about how he has done everything to block the disastrous Iran nuclear treaty. In fact, he voted for the Corker Bill, which turned the treaty ratification provisions of the Constitution on their head and resulted in the agreement taking effect. And, on the day the Senate was to vote on the treaty, or add amendments that might have blocked the removal of Iranian sanctions, Rubio did not even bother to show up.

Rubio, contrary to how he portrays himself, as one strong on foreign policy and affairs, is little more than a pol who talks big, and sometimes dishonesty, but in the end, based on his prior career, cannot be counted on to take any real hard action. And, if he cannot even represent his own valiant Cuban people, how does he expect that We the People can believe that he will represent us in pursuit of freedom?

© Larry Klayman


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Larry Klayman

Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, is known for his strong public interest advocacy in furtherance of ethics in government and individual freedoms and liberties... (more)


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