The Washington Post released a story this afternoon titled "Marco Rubio’s compelling family story embellishes facts, documents show."
The story reports that Rubio's family left Cuba in 1956, before Castro took over in 1959. Rubio's mother went back to Cuba in 1961 and then abandoned plans to remain in the country:
In 1961, [Marco Rubio's mother] Oriales Rubio took her two children to Cuba “with the intention of remaining permanently.” Mario remained in Florida “wrapping up the family’s matters.” But within weeks of arriving, “it because clear that Cuba was headed full speed toward Communism and they decided to return to the U.S,” the statement said.
The Post claims that Rubio has "embellished" the account of his parents exile, but Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo notes that the Post, in fact, has embellished its account of Rubio's alleged embellishments. While Rubio's official website inaccurately claims both of the Florida senator's parents fled Cuba's following Castro's takeover, the Miami Herald notes the Post is sloppy with the facts:
the top of the [Washington Post] story suggests Rubio himself has given this "dramatatic account:" that "he was the son of exiles, he told audiences, Cuban Americans forced off their beloved island after 'a thug,' Fidel Castro, took power."
However, the story doesn't cite one speech where Rubio actually said that.
Furthermore, Rubio himself has said his parents came to the United States before Castro's takeover when asked directly:
Rubio's office has told both the Washinton Post, the St. Petersburg Times and The Miami Herald that his parents came to the United States prior to Castro taking power. And he has said it more than once. In the article we wrote last month about his pending autobiography, Rubio clearly told us his parents came here before Castro took power. He struggled to recall the year (this isn't in the story, it's in my notes) and said it was in "57 or 58 or 59."
When asked pointedly: Was it before the revolution? Rubio said it was before the revolution.
Read more here.
Here's Senator Rubio's response to the Washington Post story:
“To suggest my family’s story is embellished for political gain is outrageous. 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. I was not made aware of the exact dates until very recently.
“What’s important is that the essential facts of my family’s story are completely accurate. My parents are from Cuba. After arriving in the United States, they had always hoped to one day return to Cuba if things improved and traveled there several times. In 1961, my mother and older siblings did in fact return to Cuba while my father stayed behind wrapping up the family’s matters in the U.S. After just a few weeks living there, she fully realized the true nature of the direction Castro was taking Cuba and returned to the United States one month later, never to return.
“They were exiled from the home country they tried to return to because they did not want to live under communism. That is an undisputed fact and to suggest otherwise is outrageous.”