POLITICS

Marco Rubio accuses the New York Times of parroting Cuban propaganda about him

Sen. Rubio arrives to the staging area for the Fourth of July parade, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Wolfeboro, N.H.

Sen. Rubio arrives to the staging area for the Fourth of July parade, Saturday, July 4, 2015, in Wolfeboro, N.H.  (ap)

The Gray Lady has Sen. Marco Rubio seeing red.

Again.

The Florida Republican presidential candidate is assailing yet another New York Times story about him as a hatchet job.

The story ran on Monday depicting Rubio, who is the son of Cuban immigrants, as intensely disliked in Cuba, including the part of the island from which his ancestors hailed.

“If Marco Rubio becomes president, we’re done for,” said Héctor Montiel, 66, in an interview conducted in Havana by the Times. “He’s against Cuba in every possible way. Hillary Clinton understands much more the case of Cuba.”

The Times said that Cubans on the island say that even as their country and the United States are moving to another level politically – re-establishing diplomatic relations after more than 50 years, and preparing to reopen embassies in Havana and Washington D.C. – Rubio prefers that a wall remain between the two countries.

“Rubio and these Republicans, they are still stuck in 1959,” the Times quoted Montiel as saying.

Another Cuban, Alain Marcelo, in the town of Jicotea was quoted as saying of Rubio: “He wants to kill us! He’s our enemy!”

Rubio, like many Republicans in Congress, is firmly opposed to lifting the U.S.-Cuba embargo and easing trade and travel restrictions while oppression continues to exist on the island. All the Cuban-Americans in Congress, including Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, say the United States should not have diplomatic relations with Cuba because President Raúl Castro refuses to allow democratic reforms, including genuine elections.

The Times visited the offices of Granma, the official state-run newspaper that serves as the Castro regime’s mouthpiece.

The people who manage it clearly see Rubio as a bogeyman.

“We don’t like to cover him a lot,” said Delfín Xiques, who is in charge of Granma’s archives, according to the Times.

He added it would be irrational to give much space to Rubio’s views, calling them “propaganda.”

“It’s his own stupidity we would be publishing,” the Times quoted Xiques as saying.

In statements published in other media outlets about the Times story, Rubio said the Cuban government brainwashes its people.

Granma refers to Rubio as a “representative in the Senate of the Cuban-American terrorist mafia,” a modifier it uses to describe Cuban exiles who oppose the Communist revolution.

“Their views on human rights are not legitimate, they’re immoral,” Politico quoted Rubio as saying about the Cuban regime.

“For the record, I'm proud that the Castro regime feels threatened by us,” he tweeted. “They fear freedom and democracy.”

Recently, Rubio’s campaign took aim at the New York Times for a story it ran about speeding tickets that he and his wife have received over the years.

The Times was widely criticized by others, as well, who called the story petty and a witch-hunt.
Yet another Times story on Rubio cast him as irresponsible with his finances.

As examples it singed out his students loans and living beyond his means by buying a luxury boat, which many pointed out was simply a fishing boat.

Rubio tweeted: “NYT follows up traffic tix & "luxury speedboat" stories with expose of Castro regime's propaganda on me. #nicetry”

The Times last endorsed a Republican for president roughly 60 years ago, when it supported Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.

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