Did Marco Rubio bite off more than he can chew?

Grassroots members of Puentes de Amor say Rubio is targeting and harassing them because they promote diplomacy and peaceful relations between the United States and Cuba.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio may have overstepped himself. He must have considered it a midterm election campaign stunt to rile up the rabid anti-Cuba electors in his state or to impress his benefactors. 

On August 5, Rubio publicly announced from a senatorial bully pulpit his letter to the FBI accusing illegalities and requesting an investigation of the high school teacher, U.S. military veteran, and Cuban American Carlos Lazo and the remarkable movement that has grown around him appropriately named Puentes de Amor, Bridges of Love. 

Let’s remember Lazo’s alleged crime is bringing powdered milk and pediatric liver transplant medicine for Cuban children. In so doing, the intentional harm done to Cuban families by the U.S. extraterritorial blockade is brought into plain view. One might think that Rubio, instead of multiplying his hate against Cuba, would be paying a little more attention to his Floridian constituents who remain without water and electricity after the devastation they are suffering from Hurricane Ian.

On Oct. 11, the Cuban solidarity group and fourteen individuals responded with force by issuing a letter to the U.S. Senate Ethics Committee requesting an investigation of Rubio’s defamation campaign. Most are longtime Florida residents and Rubio’s constituents. 

The letter cites the Senate Ethics Manual, which “condemns ‘improper conduct which may reflect upon the Senate.’ …

“Senator Rubio’s conduct harkens back to the dark era of McCarthyism, where the chambers of the Senate were used by its members to target, harass, defame, silence, persecute and imprison citizens whose political and policy views differed from Senators like Joseph McCarthy or Marco Rubio.”

Rubio is a self-righteous advocate for starving the Cuban people into relinquishing their sovereignty through an economic war. However, support for this opinion is dwindling in the Cuban-American community in Florida and throughout the U.S. For more than two years, Puentes de Amor has conducted monthly, public, bike and car caravans in Miami, calling for the U.S. blockade on Cuba to end. 

These caravans began after Lazo and others rode bikes from Washington State to Washington, D.C., carrying this same message in 2020, inspiring other cities to do it as well. Rubio is no longer the unchallenged spokesperson for Cubans living in the U.S. Many who hid their disagreement out of fear for the Miami terror campaigns of the past are no longer afraid. 

A press statement announcing the complaint is on the ACERE.org website. The full text of the complaint can be found here.  For anyone interested in signing the complaint, please fill out this form.

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