LATINO VOICES
03/12/2013 05:01 pm ET Updated Mar 13, 2013

Marco Rubio Slams Travel To Cuba, Questions Cuban Adjustment Act

Marco Rubio really doesn’t want you to travel to Cuba.

The Cuban-American senator from South Florida gave U.S. travelers to the Communist island a tongue-lashing in a speech before the Cuba Democracy PAC last week. The Shark Tank, a Florida Political blog, posted the video of the speech above to YouTube.

Calling U.S. travelers to Cuba well intentioned, Rubio says:

Cuba’s not a zoo, where you pay an admission to go in and you get to watch people living in cages, to see how they’re suffering. Cuba’s not a field trip. I don’t take that stuff lightly. You just went to Cuba and to fulfill your curiosity, which I could have told you about if you’d have come seen me for five minutes, you’ve left thousands of dollars in the hands of a government that uses that money to control these people that you feel sorry for.

Rubio actually wouldn’t be able to tell you what Cuba is like, since the only place he’s been to on the island is the U.S. military base at Guantánamo.

In the video Rubio criticizes allowing Cuban-Americans to travel to the island, saying the practice is inconsistent with the Cuban Refugee Adjustment Act, a law that allows Cubans to claim permanent residency one year after they set foot in the United States.

“The Cuban Adjustment Act exists for people who are refugees and exiles… We have to deal with that issue, that’s a problem,” Rubio said, drawing applause from the crowd.

Rubio’s friend and former colleague David Rivera proposed legislation last year to overturn the Cuban Adjustment Act. The bill didn’t go anywhere, but Rubio has said lawmakers may revisit the issue during talks on comprehensive immigration reform, the Miami Herald reports.

More than 1 million Cubans have attained U.S. residency under the law, according to the Herald.

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