Fanning the flames of the Republican feud with Jay-Z, Florida Senator Marco Rubio chided the rapper Sunday over his recent trip to Cuba with wife Beyonce.
“I think Jay-Z needs to get informed,” Rubio said during an interview on ABC’s “This Week.” “One of his heroes is Che Guevara. Che Guevara was a racist. Che Guevara was a racist that wrote extensively about the superiority of white Europeans over people of African descent, so he should inform himself on the guy that he’s propping up.”
“Secondly, I think if Jay-Z was truly interested in the true state of affairs in Cuba, he would have met people that are being oppressed, including a hip-hop artist in Cuba who is right now being oppressed and persecuted and is undergoing a hunger strike because of his political lyrics,” Rubio added. “And I think he missed an opportunity. But that’s Jay-Z’s issue.”
The Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan points out that Rubio was probably referring to Angel Remon Yunier Arzuaga, a jailed Cuban rapper whom the Florida Senator tweeted about last week.
Rubio’s remarks are the latest Republican criticism of Jay-Z’s Cuba visit, which was sanctioned by the Treasury Department. The rapper responded to the criticism last week with a new rap, titled “Open Letter.”
But Rubio, a Cuban-American, said Sunday that the real problem was not Jay-Z, but the current U.S. travel policy to the island.
“The bigger point is the travel policies,” he told ABC’s Jon Karl. “The travel policies need to be tightened because they are being abused,” Rubio said. “These are tourist trips, and they are — what they’re doing is providing hard currency and funding so that a tyrannical regime can maintain its grip on the island of Cuba, and I think that’s wrong.”
Watch the interview below, courtesy of ABC News:
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