In the wake of the deadly Parkland school shooting, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida attempted to engage in a dialogue with the anti-gun left. only to find himself savagely attacked by gun-control advocates over his support for the Second Amendment and National Rifle Association.
A reporter from Granma, Cuba’s state-run newspaper, appeared to have borrowed a page from the Parkland students’ playbook by attacking Rubio with a loaded question about accepting NRA political donations during a forum at the recent Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, according to National Review.
Rubio, who speaks fluent Spanish, seized the moment and utilized the opportunity to make an excellent point about free speech, free elections and freedom and liberty in general in the United States as compared to communist dictatorships like Cuba or Venezuela.
According to a translation provided by RedState, Cuban reporter Sergio Gomez asked Rubio, “The central theme of the summit is the fight against corruption. I wonder if the influence lobbyists hold on politicians was in the agenda, specifically the NRA from whom you’ve received more than $3 million dollars. What do you say to your voters from Lima? Will you continue to accept money from that organization? What do you say to the Parkland victims?”
After learning who the reporter was and what outlet he wrote for, Rubio replied, “I’m glad you can come here and freely express yourself and I welcome you. I think this is important because I am willing to answer questions in an open forum where you can have discrepancies.”
“There are people in my country that don’t agree with how the Second Amendment of the Constitution is interpreted. Those people who are in disagreement with my stance on this issue have the right to vote against me,” he added. “Even though I won the elections, in my country, those individuals who disagree with me on that topic can vote against me. Millions voted against me, but millions more voted in my favor.
“That’s my greatest desire. My wish is that Cuba, Venezuela and every country who has differences can decide them in the polls. Not through violence, not through illegitimate political movements. That’s what I wish. At the end of the day, I think that in a free society, those who have disagreements with a political stance can vote against that politician. In five years I will have to run again.”
“It’s simple. In the United States, in comparison to Cuba, we have a free press. The press can question and criticize me all they want, and they do so daily. I’m glad we’re able to hold a debate, because in Cuba you can’t have a debate,” Rubio said.
“The answer is that in the U.S. the people know my stance. We also have transparency on who donates and who doesn’t,” he continued. “Yes, I support the Second Amendment and those people who support that amendment support me. Those who don’t support it can vote against me.
“I wish you could also do that in Cuba, because you can’t.”
Rubio may not always be every conservative’s favorite senator, but when it comes to the topic of freedom and liberty in the U.S. as compared to despotic communism in places like Cuba and Venezuela, Rubio almost instinctively rises to the top.
His eloquent explanation of how civil debate, freedom of association and a free vote in free elections works in America as compared to non-free societies is as fundamental as it is compelling.
Rubio also seems to have learned from recent past experience that extending a hand toward anti-gunners incensed over his ties to the NRA will only serve to get him burned. Thus, he delivered an unapologetic defense of his free associations with Second Amendment advocates and political donations received when questioned by the Cuban reporter.
Hopefully, Rubio will be provided more opportunities in the near future to mount similarly eloquent defenses of the freedom and liberty we cherish in America, especially the freedom to speak our minds and associate with like-minded people as well as the freedom to keep and bear arms for the defense of ourselves and our country.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.