Last week, Marco Rubio traveled to Lima, Peru to attend the Summit of the Americas Conference. The Summit of the Americas brings together representatives from Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States to discuss issues affecting the region. Corruption and the ongoing chaos in Venezuela were the main focus of this year's gathering.
At one point a Cuban reporter (Sergio Gomez) for the state-run newspaper Granma asked Rubio a question during a round-table discussion:
The central theme of the summit is the fight against corruption. I wonder if the influence lobbyists hold on politicians was in the agenda, specifically the NRA from whom you’ve received more than $3 million dollars. What do you say to your voters from Lima? Will you continue to accept money from that organization? What do you say to the Parkland victims?
This is a fascinating line of questioning from a communist country's propaganda arm as it parrots back the leftist talking points from American media. Not only that, but it comes from a country which has subjugated its people under a dictatorship because the people do not have precisely that right to self defense that the NRA seeks to protect in the United States. In addition, the NRA derives its strength from its membership: over 5 million people who believe it is important to defend the right that the Second Amendment is meant to protect so that the U.S. does not become like Cuba, Venezuela, or other countries which have slid towards authoritarianism as power has shifted from the people to the government.
Rubio, for his part, displayed his characteristic ability to handle a tough crowd, replying:
... There are people in my country that don’t agree with how the Second Amendment of the Constitution is interpreted. Those people who are in disagreement with my stance on this issue have the right to vote against me. Even though I won the elections, in my country, those individuals who disagree with me on that topic can vote against me. Millions voted against me, but millions more voted in my favor. That’s my greatest desire. My wish is that Cuba, Venezuela and every country who has differences can decide them in the polls. Not through violence, not through illegitimate political movements. That’s what I wish. At the end of the day I think that in a free society, those who have disagreements with a political stance can vote against that politician. In 5 years I will have to run again.
... In the United States, in comparison to Cuba, we have a free press. The press can question and criticize me all they want, and they do so daily. I’m glad we’re able to hold a debate, because in Cuba you can’t have a debate. The answer is that in the U.S. the people know my stance. We also have transparency on who donates and who doesn’t. Yes, I support the Second Amendment and those people who support that Amendment support me. Those who don’t support it can vote against me. I wish you could also do that in Cuba, because you can’t.
Transparency and voting - two things we have in the United States thanks to the limitations put on the federal government by our Founding Fathers as well as the rights retained by the people and states as enshrined in the Bill of Rights. We should be thankful that we have Senators such as Marco Rubio who remember and appreciate this.