In the wake of last week's Washington Post story accusing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio of embellishing the story of his parents' move from Cuba to the United States, NPR says that it's found discrepancies in the account Rubio provided them during a 2009 interview.
Rubio on Friday penned an op-ed for Politico and his website conceding that he may have erred on some dates related to his parents' arrival in the United States. But he insisted that they were anti-Castro political exiles--and that he never embellished their story for political gain.
In one part of the Politico account, Rubio wrote that his family wanted to move back to Cuba following Castro's rise to power and that his mother traveled there with his older siblings in 1961 with the intent to return to live there permanently. But on "All Things Considered" Monday, NPR reported that during a 2009 interview with the show Rubio said his mother returned to Cuba in order to care for her ailing father the year prior.
In that 2009 interview, Rubio also said that his mother intended to return, but that the Cuban government wouldn't let her or her son return. (Her daughter, who was born in the United States, was an American citizen.) Rubio told NPR in 2009 that his mother and brother went to the airport "every day for nine months" waiting to be let go.
Rubio also provided additional detail in the the 2009 interview, which re-aired Monday on "All Things Considered":
My grandfather, who was already had been stricken with polio when he was a young man, had an accident - he was hit by a bus. And in Cuba at the time, I mean, when you were in the hospital they didn't have like, you know, meals or anything. Your family had to bring the food and they had to take care of you. So, my mom went back with my sister and my brother to take care of her father in 1960. And my dad stayed behind, working.
But Rubio's account Friday revealed there was no nine-month wait, and that his mother and siblings returned to the United States about one month after arriving in Cuba. Newly unearthed documents confirm that his mother was in Cuba for just over one month.
Rubio said he only recently became aware of some of the exact dates involved, the timeline of his mother's sojourn back in Cuba and the circumstances leading to his parents' move to the United States.
After the Washington Post published its story last week, it fielded a series of complaints alleging that the paper was insensitive to the plight of Cuban exiles. The Post publicized NPR's account on Twitter and on its website overnight.
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