Why Marco Rubio’s lies matter

A fellow Cuban-American’s perspective on Florida’s junior senator’s latest tall tale

(Editor’s note: The following commentary was written by Patrick Monteiga, editor of Tampa’s La Gaceta newspaper, the only tri-lingual newspaper in the United States. The column appeared in today’s edition. Monteiga and his family are of Cuban ancestory. The column is reprinted with permission).

Sen. Marco Rubio at CPAC. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

The revelations from Marc Rubio’s family history have brought us closer to the U.S. Senator than we’ve ever been before. You see, the real version of Rubio’s heritage closely resembles the Manteiga heritage.

My grandfather Victoriano, like Rubio’s dad and mom, came from Cuba to the U.S. for a job and a better life. My grandfather came in 1913 (at least that’s the story) and was hired by the workers at the Morgan Cigar Factory as the lector. Rubio’s father, Mario, came over in 1956 and found a bartending job.

Victoriano wanted to stay here permanently and become a U.S. citizen, but he was still interested in the family and friends left behind in Cuba. Mario seemed to follow the same creed.

Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista was hated by my grandfather who hoped Fidel Castro would bring better days to Cuba. Mario left in 1956 during the reign of Batista supposedly because of the violence and uncertainty. It seems he also hoped that Castro would change things for the better.

In 1961, after Castro resumed relations with the USSR and nationalized American oil companies and  sugar interests, Rubio’s mom, Oriales, went back to either look after a relative or to see if things were better in Cuba so her family could move back depending on the version of the story. Odd, considering that most observers could see Cuba slipping towards Soviet-style communism by then.

Victoriano also made a trip to Cuba in 1961. According to family lore, it was in an effort to help family and friends who ended up on the wrong side of the revolution.

Here’s where the Manteiga/Rubio historic narrative separates. When my grandfather came back, many in the newly-arrived exile community called him a communist and boycotted our business.

When Rubio’s mom came back it seems the whole family falsely embraced exile status saying they fled Castro and who knows, maybe they even accepted the welfare that was offered to the exile community. My grandfather came back and was ostracized by many of the exiles, while Rubio’s family, because of their lie, was embraced.

There is one more similarity. When Mario was asked if he was a communist on the petition for naturalization, he wrote no. Victoriano was visited by the FBI in 1961 to talk about the current situation in Cuba and America. As part of that visit, the FBI commented that Victoriano presented leaflets distributed by the Communist Party of Florida accusing Manteiga of being a follower of Adolf Hitler. What better proof of not being a communist could you have than the communists accusing you of being a Nazi?

Rubio’s cohorts in Miami’s exile community blocked the naming of the Ybor Post Office after my father because our newspaper didn’t trash Castro quickly enough. We wonder if Rubio’s cohorts will now turn on him because, obviously, if the Rubios were considering a return to Cuba in 1961, they couldn’t have been too critical of Castro.

We are proud of our heritage and of my father and grandfather. I am very proud that they chose honesty over the convenience of sensationalism.

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Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him atChris@IrreverentView.com.

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15 Responses to “Why Marco Rubio’s lies matter”

  1. The truth hurts Says:

    Wow! This puts “why” Rubio’s story and how he has manipulated it is important.if there really was a liberal bias in the media the fact that this story has not been told as Mr. Montega did here is proof that such a bias doesn’t exist. It seems to me that the media is covering for Rubio by not telling the whole story as in the “whh it is important part” shown here.

    Thank you mR. Montega for sharing this

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t let your bitterness cloud your view of Marco. Obviously you are overwhelmed that your grandfather didn’t get the recognition you want for him by naming a post office in his honor. Making attacks on Marco’s previous generations and their intentions shouldn’t make you feel better. All our ancestors were great contributors to a great nation, be proud not resentful, you’ll feel better.

  3. cingram Says:

    I received the following e-mail from a reader today. Read his comments, followed by my reply below.

    From: Charlie [name and email redacted]
    Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 7:00 PM
    To: chris@IrreverentView.com
    Subject: Re: Why Marco Rubio’s lies matter

    It’s becoming more evident that you have your own personal agenda. Instead of (key words here) trashing other fine Republican or Tea Party politicians or candidates, you need to be looking at the issues more important. Such as what the current socialist is doing at the white house. This kind of thing makes me sick, and makes me want to say if you can’t play right, then keep right on doing what you are doing. When obamma gets re-elected back as president, then America gets what it deserves. “We” have gotten that stupid? Why don’t you stop and think about what you are doing before you send out trash on other people, other than the few you support? United we stand, divided we fall. Whose side are you on?

    Reply to Charlie,

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for your comments. I don’t have an agenda, other than I would like to see good government and scumbag politicians like Rubio out of office. As a self-proclaimed tea party member, I would hope you cared more about honesty, courage, integrity, and the like than getting some clown like Rubio elected simply because he has an “R” after his name.

    Rubio has a pattern of being a liar and blaming others for his missteps. Read about him, take your blinders off, and accept the facts. He’s a bad man.

    As for the socialist in the White House, I agree, he sucks. He’s a man of almost zero accomplishment who has no concept of reality. But he isn’t what this debate is about.

    This debate is about Rubio and his lack of character.

    If you’re concerned about the direction the country is heading, quit drinking the Kool-aid and voting for people like Rubio just because he’s a Hispanic with a gifted tongue and an “R” after his name.

    Our kids deserve better.

    Please Charlie, take the blinders off.

    Chris Ingram

  4. John Sipos Says:

    Mr. Rubio is all grown up and should be held accountable for public pronouncements about his family history. What did Marco know and when did he know it and if he knew he was mispeaking, slap him around for that, as well as for what he did with that GOP credit card a couple of years back. That kitchen floor paid for with GOP donors money still bugs me. However, as to the idea that these attacks are without bias, stop the presses. In the interest of full disclosure, the truly excellent Patrick Monteiga, is one of the most partisan voices in the way left of center Democrat Party here in Florida and beyond. Attacks on Rubio are part of a coordinated liberal Democrat, marching in lockstep with the Washington Post campaign to keep our freshman senator from getting picked to run for vice president in 2012. It’s generally thought, with Marco in the number two spot, even with Little Orphan Annie at the top of the GOP ticket, the combination would be unbeatable. Just as Marco should be held accountable for his words and other alleged misdeeds, those who oppose him have no less an obligation to reveal who they are, the liberal bias they represent, and the biased intent of their attacks.

  5. Roger Says:

    I agree with mr. sipos that patrick monteiga is a bleeding hearted democrat, but what mr. sipos fails to acknowledge is mr. ingram who publishes this site isnot. so that begs the question of what is going on here. it seems monteiga/ingram have exposed our senator for being something of what most of us dont realize. no harm no foul in the discussion occuring. to the point of the previous posting i agree that little has been said in the traditional media about the point of view mr monteiga made. it seems the media is in fact protecting rubio.

    as a side note i have read a lot about rubio and it does seem to me that he lacks an ability to tell the truth.

  6. former colleague Says:

    I am a Republican who served in the legislature with Marco, and all I can say is, I wouldn’t count on him if I were in a foxhole facing enemy fire.

  7. Darrell E. New Says:

    I have heard Mr. Rubio speak several times and have met with him privately twice. I believe that Mr. Rubio has the correct slant on the issues of today. The travels and beliefs of his family the happened more than 50 years ago can be cloudy and confusing. I continue to support the great statesman.

    Darrell E. New – Retired NASA Scientist –

  8. Anonymous Says:

    wow!!! a real eye-opener. thanks so much for that story. must be frustrating for you at times, trying to tell ppl the truth but they just can’t see it.

  9. GenEarly Says:

    Wow! I’m Sooo sorry I voted for Rubio, when I could have had that stellar sun tanned man of character, Charlie Crist.(SARC).

    Rubio has VOTED correctly in the US Senate and that is All that matters.
    Look at Nelson’s Socialist-Obama votes in comparison.

    Ingram should sign up for Castor’s campaign like the Dimicrat he is.

  10. Kevin Wright Says:

    Talk about whipping a dead horse. Speculations about alleged hypocrisy and the failure to sort out nuances of Cuba policy in the 50′s is now cause for insulting Marco. The Monteigas have been champions of socialism for many generations. To use their family story as the basis for calling Marco Rubio a liar is not just preposterous, it is an insult to the intelligence of any thinking person.

    What is the real import of questioning the Rubio family flight to exile? To Rehabilitate Castro? Let us NEVER forget the toll of misery that Castro has exacted upon the free people of Cuba. It should be the goal of every American to see that Cuba is free once again. In any event, backstabbing and old grudges in the Cuban exile community is not helpful to that end.

  11. cingram Says:

    Reply to Gen Early and Kevin Wright:

    Gen Early, You’re an anonymous blowhard with lots to say (repeatedly commenting on this site) but lacking the stones to stand by your comments with attribution. Spineless “conservative” you are. Grow a pair.

    Mr. Wright,

    I hope you enjoy your Kool-aid. When you want to take the blinders off, consider the facts… (links below):

    Rubio is doomed. He’s a liar, and a cheat, and only out for himself.

    I was right about Charlie and Greer, and I’ll be vindicated as being right about Rubio as well. It’s only a matter of time.

    Chris

    http://blog.reidreport.com/2010/09/former-supporter-rubio-used-party-amex-for-home-remodel

    http://www.irreverentview.com/national-politics/rubios-pattern-of-pathological-behavior-is-pervasive

    http://www.irreverentview.com/florida-politics/rubio-2010s-katherine-harris-another-pathological-liar-for-u-s-senate

    http://www.irreverentview.com/florida-politics/r-p-o-f-saga-engulfs-g-o-p-leaders

    http://www.irreverentview.com/national-politics/withdrawing-support-for-marco-rubio

    http://www.irreverentview.com/florida-politics/rubios-american-express-problems-come-to-light

    Chris Ingram

  12. Alex Snitker Says:

    Chris,

    I’m sure telling people “I told you so” doesn’t make you feel any better but the people of Florida should really listen to you now.

    For those who attack Chris for putting this out and saying he has an agenda you are right. His agenda is the truth and if you have a issue with that then consider yourself the problem and go to HELL.

    Only honest statesmen will restore the republic and the Rube ain’t it. I personally am sick and tired of these party first people who are just fine with scum bags just as long as those scum bags have the same letter next to their name.

  13. Court Says:

    I graduated from Miamo Palmetto high school 50 years ago,,,in 1961. One of my close friends was Carlos [last name redacted], who was also my co-worker at the A&P store. Carlos & his family escaped from Castro, but continued to help their family members still trapped in Cuba. A select few could travel to Havana to take medicine to elder relatives too sick to escape Castro. Did this make them ‘comunist sympathizers’? My last contact with Carlos was when he left for Panama to prepare to invade the Bay of Pigs.
    I subscribe to your email because you give me a sense of the conservative voice on the leftg coast of Fla. I was disappointed, as you were, to see Marco fall under influence of the jaded RPF leadership who could justify misappropriation of RPF contributions to their personal use. But your insinuation that you initiated the charge against Crist & Greer corruption is self-agrandizing disingenuity; to hear you give credance to a socialists’ denegration of the Rubio heritage is disappointing; to see you translate these alleged ‘sins of the fathers’ to Marco Rubio is very disturbing.
    Rubio made early-career errors in judgement. He repented. He contritely acknowleged his transgressions without blame or excuses, repaid his personal expenditures, and received the forgivness of our kindred spirits as evidenced by election to the Senate. I don’t believe he will EVER AGAIN abuse our trust, but if I’m wrong, I’m confident that self-annointed spokesmen such as yourself will be waiting to pounce upon him, informing everyone who will listen that I was wrong about Rubio. However, I will appreciate it if you will wait until such a ‘slip’ actually occurs before you post it. In the interim, I shall continue to revel in the consistently conservative, proactive and intelligent legislative conduct of MY Senator. You apparently want to become a kingmaker…a common goal of those who can’t actually win any election. However, if you are indeed the moral conservative you are trying to portray, you should expend your energies now in getting ANOTHER Fla. conservative in the U.S.Senate…during the current elective cycle…instead of setting the stage to favor ‘your’ candidate in a future election cycle.

  14. cingram Says:

    Reply to “Court”:

    Believe what you want about Marco. I think he is a very dishonest person who has trouble with the facts, but not problem playing the victim.

    As for Crist/Greer, I never said I “initiated the charge” but the fact is, I was one of the first(but not the only) people to publicly take them both on.

    Chris Ingram

  15. Noah Says:

    Chris, I must take take issue with your position on Rubio. I agree he’s got some ethical problems, but to continue the drumbeat seems odd here. When I vote for a particular candidate, I do so with the knowledge that the politician isn’t perfect (nor am I, or anyone I know, for that matter). In my lifetime, no candidate ever is or will be. I’m not voting for my priest or rabbi, and I’m aware that every candidate out there is flawed. My objective in supporting a particular candidate is to advance my beliefs, and so long as the candidate does so without serious personal obstacles, I can pull the lever with a clear conscience. If you can’t do this, then you’ll never be satisfied.

    I believe your report on Rubio is true; so where does that leave us? He lied and cheated the party out of several thousand dollars, and his rendition of the family story is possibly wrong because his mom may have actually been trying to return despite Castro’s communist takeover. Trying to speculate on her motive 50 years ago is specious at best. Who cares if she ignored reality – a person’s desire to return home isn’t always rational. I’m sorry, but these two stories aren’t enough to discount his entire record. In fact, I find this very odd, given we have an elected president who proudly associated with Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Van Jones, etc.

    But what really strikes me as odd is that virtually every candidate running has flaws equal or more serious than Rubio. Just today we learned of Herman Cain’s history of alleged, unwanted sexual advances. Are we supposed to cast aside every candidate until we find one with the “perfect record.” I suggest you’ll be waiting until eternity.

    This just seems like an odd time to be nitpicking Rubio, given everything else going on.

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