Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Marco Rubio's Speech at Unidad Cubana [Updated]

This past Sunday, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida appeared at a public event hosted by Unidad Cubana, the militant/hard-line Cuban exile organization. Below is the speech he gave in Spanish. I will be translating portions of the speech into English and updating this post below.

Yet, there is one portion of the speech that was very interesting. Sen. Rubio at one moment seems to suggest that he has confidential information concerning changes coming to the Cuban government. At these kind of events, someone always says that change is coming soon to Cuba and it is implied that the change will come with the death of Fidel Castro. But, Sen. Rubio's remark about having secret information is much more interesting (though he has been known to lie). That audio is at 8:31...

"It's already been many years of everyone thinking 'Well, at any moment this has to change.' I know you've heard that many times. But I promise you, for reasons that I can't express publicly, the reality is that the moment is coming."


For those that don't know, Unidad Cubana was created in 1991 as a united front of several Cuban exile organizations to influence U.S. policy. Their main position was to reject the possibility of any softening of U.S. policy as Cuba was going through a difficult economic period. And, of course, preparing for an overthrow of the Cuban government.

According to El Nuevo Herald, Armando Perez-Roura (pictured above with Sen. Rubio, and current chairman of Unidad Cubana) said in 1991: "We in the exile community need to have our own political and military strategy because Castro must be removed from power." In that same article, it was reported that over 100 exile groups signed a joint agreement with Unidad Cubana, and that over 3000 people attended their inauguration event at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, which was broadcast live on U.S.-funded Radio Marti*.

So, every October Unidad Cubana organizes an event remembering the "Great War" of 1868, and hosts speeches by distinguished guests that continue to push for a hard-line policy against the Cuban government. Previous guests have included Cuban-American legislators Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. And this year it was Sen. Marco Rubio's turn.

The essence of Sen. Rubio's speech centered on why he's taken a hard-line stance on policy toward Cuba, which is also based on his own "Cause for Freedom." According to Rubio, there are three basic reasons:

1) He supports the right of rebellion of people living under tyranny as written in the American Declaration of Independence;
2) He feels obligated to fulfill the "dreams" of the first wave of Cuban exiles because they suffered greatly due to the Cuban Revolution and "sacrificed" so much for his generation; and
3) He believes the U.S. government is obligated by principle to help Cuban exiles "free" Cuba.

In his speech, Sen. Rubio states that "if one studies six thousand years of recorded history" (which we assume Sen. Rubio has) one sees that "almost all people" throughout history have fought against tyranny, including the founders of the United States of America who expressed that right in the American Declaration of Independence, and also Cuba exiles at the Bay of Pigs. Sen. Rubio also states that the right to rebel comes from God, and that this historical battle against tyranny "will never end."

By suggesting that the right to rebel (or revolution) is God-given, and possibly an eternal human battle against tyranny (or evil), Sen. Rubio certainly reveals much about how he views events around the globe. It strikes me very similar to Cuban exile militants' war against global communism, or other battles that have been waged against some kind of global terror.

So, there should be no doubt that Sen. Rubio's "Cause for freedom" entails the "Cause for Cuba," and potentially other countries as well. As he explained, "if this country really believes these words [from the Declaration of Independence] then you have to apply them at every given opportunity, and for us [Cuban exiles] that opportunity exists 90 miles from our coast."

What other "opportunities" does Sen. Rubio see for his "Cause for Freedom."

[Photo by Arminda Espinosa and Libre Magazine]

*[El Nuevo Herald, July 13, 1991, "Cubanos Firman Acta de Unidad, Excluyen Dialogo" by Joel Gutierrez and Ivan Roman.]