Marco Rubio: 'Che Guevara Was a Racist'

By Melanie Arter | April 15, 2013 | 12:05pm EDT

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) ( Starr)

( – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Sunday that rapper Jay Z needs to inform himself about Che Guevara, the man “he’s propping up” by visiting Cuba recently with wife Beyonce.

"I think Jay Z needs to get informed. One of his heroes is Che Guevara. Che Guevara was a racist … that wrote extensively about the superiority of white Europeans over people of African descent. He should inform himself on the guy he's propping up," Rubio said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous.”

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Guevara was a Marxist who helped Fidel Castro to overthrow the Cuban government led at the time by dictator Fulgencio Batista.

If the rapper was “truly interested in the true state of affairs in Cuba,” Marco said, “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, and I think he missed an opportunity, but that's Jay Z's issue.”

U.S. citizens are not allowed to travel to Cuba, but can obtain licenses for academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange trips. The Treasury Department announced last week that Beyonce and Jay Z received a cultural exchange travel license.

Rubio said the travel policies to Cuba “need to be tightened because they are being abused.”

“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,” Rubio added.

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