Marco Rubio has told many cheering crowds of Cuban Americans that he is the son of exiles forced off the island by Fidel Castro—but the Florida Republican is embellishing the facts, according to the Washington Post. The newspaper examined naturalization records and other documents, and found that Rubio's parents became permanent residents of the US more than two years before Castro's government came to power. Rubio—a rising Tea Party star considered to be a possible 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate—states that his parents "came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover," in his official biography on his Senate website.
The senator fiercely denies embellishing his family's story for political gain. "The dates I have given regarding my family's history have always been based on my parents' recollections of events that occurred over 55 years ago and which were relayed to me by them more than two decades after they happened," he said in a statement. "I was not made aware of the exact dates until very recently." His parents were exiles, he says, because they wanted to move back to Cuba but couldn't do so because of Castro.