Earlier this week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took to the Senate floor to respond to comments made by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) praising Cuba’s socialist government.
Harkin, who spent a week in Cuba, returned to the U.S. and touted the “success” enjoyed by the socialist/communist nation in terms of health care and socialized education.
Enter, Marco Rubio.
“He bragged about their health care system, medical school is free, doctors are free, clinics are free, their infant mortality rate may be even lower than ours,” Rubio said of Harkin. “I wonder if the senator, however, was informed, number one, that the infant mortality rate of Cuba is completely calculated on figures provided by the Cuban government. And, by the way, totalitarian communist regimes don’t have the best history of accurately reporting things.”
He then addressed Harkin’s comments about all the doctors who help make the health care system great in Cuba.
“I heard him also talk about these great doctors that they have in Cuba. I have no doubt they’re very talented. I’ve met a bunch of them,” Rubio said. “You know where I met them? In the United States, because they defected. Because in Cuba doctors would rather drive a taxi cab or work in a hotel than be a doctor.”
Harkin also claimed that people in the streets of Cuba had nothing bad to say about the United States. This, Rubio said, contradicts the logic for ending the U.S. embargo as opponents argue that the embargo creates anger among the Cuban people.
“What they are really good at is repression,” Rubio said of Cuba. “They have exported repression in real time, in our hemisphere, right now.”
Rubio also discussed the violence occurring in Venezuela. Watch his entire speech here:
Carousel image via Alex Wong/Getty Images