Marco Rubio Is Hardly a Hero in Cuba.

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from The New York Times,

Rubio's parents on wedding day in Havana 1949

In the lush countryside and teeming city neighborhoods where Senator Marco Rubio’s family cut sugar cane, toiled in tobacco mills and scraped by to make a better life for their children, the first Cuban-American to have a plausible chance to become president of the United States is the island’s least favorite son.

“If Marco Rubio becomes president, we’re done for,” said Héctor Montiel, 66, offering a vigorous thumbs-down as he sat on the Havana street where Mr. Rubio’s father grew up. “He’s against Cuba in every possible way. Hillary Clinton understands much more the case of Cuba. Rubio and these Republicans, they are still stuck in 1959.”

Resistance to Fidel Castro’s Communist government has served as the foundation of Mr. Rubio’s personal and political identity. A Florida Republican who has been identified in the state-controlled newspaper here as a “representative in the Senate of the Cuban-American terrorist mafia,” he has argued for years that normalized relations with the United States would only strengthen an oppressive Cuban government that impoverishes its people, limits access to information and violates human rights.

As Mr. Rubio has intensified his opposition, Cubans have begun to view him as the most prominent of American hangmen.

“He wants to kill us!” Alain Marcelo, 46, said as he sat on a porch next to a grazing horse and a shack scrawled with yellow “Viva Fidel y Raúl” graffiti in Jicotea, the no-streetlight town where Mr. Rubio’s great-grandparents arrived from Spain to farm sugar cane in the late 19th century. “He’s our enemy!”

The object of these attacks said it was “sad” that the Cuban government had created the impression that he wanted “to starve the Cuban people.” But for Mr. Rubio, the demonizing is only proof of the “information blockade that the people in Cuba are facing” and further justification for his opposition to President Obama’s opening to the government of Raúl Castro.

“I’m glad they see us as a threat,” Mr. Rubio said in an interview. “They should.”

He added that it made sense that the Castro government was closely following a presidential candidate whose election would not, to put it mildly, be welcomed. “If that’s the line the Cuban government has taken against me and is trying to indoctrinate their people in that way, it shows that we’re on to something,” he said.

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