Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) had some harsh words Sunday for Jay-Z and Beyoncé's recent trip to Cuba.
Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, Rubio said, "I think it’s hypocritical of the people who took that trip because they didn't go down there and meet with some of the people that are actually in trouble today" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CANDY CROWLEY, HOST: Do you believe the honeymoon trip [sic] of Jay-Z and Beyoncé to Cuba violated existing rules on U.S. travel there?
SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (R-FLORIDA): Well, I don't know where they went. If they didn't violate rule, it exposes the ridiculousness of the laws that we have in place. We are allowing people to travel to Cuba as tourists. They're delivering hard currency to a tyrannical regime who then turns around and uses that to oppress his people.
And quite frankly, I think it’s hypocritical of the people who took that trip because they didn't go down there and meet with some of the people that are actually in trouble today. There's a rapper in Cuba, there’s a hip hop artist in Cuba who is on a hunger strike and has been persecuted because he has political lyrics in his songs. And I wish they would have met with him. If they really wanted to know what was going on in Cuba, they should have met with some of the people that are suffering there not simply smoke cigars and taken a stroll down the street.
The rapper Rubio was referring to is Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga. Babalublog reported Thursday:
Details of dissident rapper and activist Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, best known as “Critico de Arte”, has been limited since his arrest last 26th of March, considering that the political police took various cell phones away from his family members when they raided his home and took him to prison along with other relatives and neighbors which joined in solidarity. However, former political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU)- opposition group which Remon also belongs to- confirmed this Tuesday, April 9th, that the young musician is still detained and on hunger strike.
“It’s been 15 days since Yunier Remon has been on hunger strike in a police unit of Bayamo”, wrote Ferrer Garcia on Wednesday in his Twitter account (@jdanielferrer). Another message recounts that on March 26th “Yunier Remon was beaten; while relatives and neighbors came out in his defense…they are now all accused of ‘attempt’”. [...]
The music which Remon Arzuaga produces with his hip-hip group “Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso”(‘The Unwanted Children’) is censured in Cuba, as is the music of many other independent artists, whether they be within rap or other genres, such as Primario y Julito, Los Aldeanos, Porno para Ricardo, Eskuadron Patriota, Omni-Zona Franca and many others.
Jay-Z and Beyoncé would have made quite a statement meeting with this man, don't you agree?