There may be even more inconsistencies in Marco Rubio’s version of his family history, which he’s recently been accused of “embellishing” for political gain.The latest set of discrepancies was pointed out by NPR, which says that a recent statement Rubio wrote in Politico contradicts what he said in an interview in 2009.
Rubio’s official bio originally said that his parents came from Cuba to the United States “following Fidel Castro’s takeover on the first day of 1959.” But the Washington Post ran a story last week that disputed the timeline:
A review of documents — including naturalization papers and other official records — reveals that Rubio’s dramatic account of his family saga embellishes the facts. The documents show that Rubio’s parents came to the United States and were admitted for permanent residence more than 2Â½ years before Castro’s forces overthrew the Cuban government and took power on New Year’s Day 1959.
Rubio’s bio was changed to read that he was “born in Miami in 1971 to Cuban exiles who first arrived in the United States in 1956.”
Rubio has called the Post‘s claim that he “embellished” his family history “outrageous,” and explained in a Politico op-ed last Friday that he might have made a mistake about the specific dates of his parents’ story, but the overall message is the same. “What they described was not a timeline, or specific dates,” he wrote. “They talked about their desire to find a better life, and the pain of being separated from the nation of their birth. What they described was the struggle they faced growing up, and their obsession with giving their children the chance to do the things they never could.”
He continue in the op-ed that he now knows “that they entered the U.S. legally on an immigration visa in May of 1956.”
And they stayed because, after January 1959, the Cuba they knew disappeared. They wanted to go back — and in fact they did. Like many Cubans, they initially held out hope that Castro’s revolution would bring about positive change. So after 1959, they traveled back several times — to assess the prospect of returning home.
But in 2009, Rubio told “All Things Considered” host Robert Siegel that his grandfather in Cuba, who had polio, was hit by a bus, “so, my mom went back with my sister and my brother to take care of her father in 1960. And my dad stayed behind, working.”
And NPR points out a further inconsistency. From NPR’s transcription of its 2009 interview:
When the time came to come home, the Cuban government wouldn’t let her. So, my dad was here in Miami working and desperate, because his family – they would let my sister come because she was a U.S. citizen, but they wouldn’t let my brother and my mom come. And they would go to the airport every day for nine months waiting to be let go, and then finally were able to come. So, it was very frightening. And I think that’s what they do for sure that that’s not the place they wanted to be.
But in the Politico op-ed, Rubio says that his mother went back with his older siblings in February 1961, while his father stayed behind in Miami to wrap things up before joining them. He makes no mention of the nine month waiting period, and says it was a matter of a month before they were back in America. “But after just a few weeks, it became clear that the change happening in Cuba was not for the better. It was communism. So in late March 1961, just weeks before the Bay of Pigs invasion, my mother and siblings left Cuba and my family settled permanently in the United States.”