Regime thugs from Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela who brutalized dissidents at home are living off of government benefits in America and “no official process exists” to identify and deport them, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in an interview this weekend.
Rubio said that his office had compiled “many lists, many names” of individuals who served to help the communist and socialist regimes of those countries remain in power by committing human rights atrocities, only to turn around and claim political asylum in the United States, but the administration of leftist President Joe Biden had done nothing with the information. He suggested that former President Donald Trump was working on creating a process for denouncing potential spies and human rights abusers but had run out of time before Biden’s inauguration.
The senator noted that the issue of human rights criminals abusing American government benefits, and even sending U.S. aid money home to their anti-American regimes, had worsened dramatically as the situation on the southern border has grown more chaotic.
Rubio discussed the issue on the Spanish-language podcast Somos los Pichy Boys in an episode published this weekend. The Pichy Boys, Alejandro Gonzalez and Maikel Rodriguez, are Cuban-American comedians and media personalities based in Miami who have dedicated much of their careers to advocating against communism, particularly in their home countries.
“Nicaraguans will tell you … a person who a year and a half ago was a repressor is here now living as if nothing happened. They even get together, throw parties, feasts, and everything else,” Rubio told the podcasters. “These people who a year and a half ago were in the street beating people with sticks are here now living and receiving benefits from the government. That is the worst of the worst of everything, receiving benefits because now they are ‘refugees’ and can receive all sorts of benefits.”
“A year ago they were shouting ‘Yanqui get out!’ and now they are receiving benefits and even, with those benefits, sending money and products to Cuba,” Rubio said.
Nicaragua and Cuba are communist regimes; allied Venezuela identifies itself as “Bolivarian socialist.” All three dictatorships regularly use violence against suspected or open dissidents, disappear dissidents into kafkaesque prison systems, and use internet surveillance to track anyone they may consider a threat. Nicolás Maduro’s Venezuela, in particular, has a record of murdering children who joined protests. In Cuba, children as young as 11 years old have suffered public police beatings; children imprisoned in the July 11, 2021, protests have accused Cuban police of sexual assault.
Many of those committing these atrocities in the name of the regime, Rubio asserted, now live freely in America.
As senator for Florida, a state with one of the country’s largest Hispanic populations, Rubio explained that his office has many constituents that denounce new neighbors that they recognize as former police officers, soldiers, or other repressors who beat and abused anti-socialist dissidents at home.
“That process [of identifying and removing human rights abusers] does not exist at the moment. You can send me information to my office and we have a list. Many lists, many names,” Rubio said. “You send that to the Department of Homeland Security, you don’t hear anything else.”
The senator described Latin America generally as “not a priority” to the Biden administration, making it impossible to streamline a process to remove repressors. He noted that human rights abusers from other countries do not enjoy the privilege of living in America unquestioned: “You can’t come here from Iran to present yourself tomorrow without a check.”
“There has to be a list here of who these people are. A system that we have tried [to put together] also through the State Department and we are progressing. That was one of the ideas we had. But then with this new administration, it isn’t a priority to make it so people can denounce,” Rubio explained. “There are cases of this here for years. But now, obviously, we have seen more people coming in and without a doubt that among those people are people who lent themselves to that type of thing.”
The senator expressed hope that, “if there is a change in administration in the future, something could be done.”
He also noted that the situation is not just an offense to true refugees of communist regimes, but a national security issue for the United States.
“Cuba is an ally of Russia, ally of China, ally of Iran and Venezuela,” he explained. “So what happens is that the number one interest that Cuba has is to influence American policy towards Cuba. But if the Russians or the Chinese ask, ‘hey, you guys have capacity, can you help us with this?’ they do it, either because they get paid to do it or because it is in their interest that these people send them money.”
Rubio has been warning about supporters of the Venezuelan regime, in particular, living freely in the United States for nearly a decade. In 2014, the senator warned that Venezuelan oligarchs with ties to Maduro were openly showing off “gold-plated iPads” and living in mansions in Miami as Maduro beat and tortured anti-socialist protesters at home.
Elsewhere in the interview this weekend, Rubio also discussed the situation at the U.S. southern border generally, calling it “total disorder” and a significant threat to the United States.
“They are letting people in here that we don’t know who they are and if a thousand people come in, let’s say 100, 99 of those are decent people who simply are looking for a better life,” Rubio said, “but one is a terrorist, a thug, a criminal from when they emptied a prison in Venezuela – that individual could kill or murder. Just one person could do terrible harm and we don’t know.”
The senator appeared to be referencing a Breitbart News report revealing that the Department of Homeland Security had instructed Border Patrol to be aware that Maduro had been emptying prisons of their most violent convicts and sending the prisoners up to the United States through migrant caravans.
Rubio emphasized that opposition to the “total disorder” at the border was not xenophobic on the part of those seeking to properly process migrants. He also addressed Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s decision to ship 50 mostly Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a luxury beach destination in Massachusetts, noting that the objective of the move was to expose the “hypocrisy” of left-wing supporters of open borders.
“They sent I believe 48, let’s say 50 people. They got to Martha’s Vineyard, immediately, the state with 50 people declares a humanitarian emergency,” Rubio recalled. “With 50 people, which is what comes in in five minutes.”
“I have 50 cousins that have come here,” Gonzalez, the podcast cohost, joked.
“So what needs to be asked is, if you want all these people to come in, who is going to pay for all that?” Rubio asked. “Because there is a cost associated with all that. But it’s a total lack of control. This isn’t immigration, its total disorder.”