Rubio Faces Backlash for Comparing Trump’s Trial to Cuban ‘Show Trials’ and Executions

By LG Staff

By LG Staff

June 3, 2024

Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a potential candidate for vice president, is under fire for likening former President Donald Trump’s hush money trial to show trials in revolutionary Cuba, even posting a video of one that concluded with an execution.

Rubio has been strongly denouncing Trump’s conviction, criticizing the judge and prosecutors. He likened the trial to the show trials held in Cuba after communist leader Fidel Castro took power.

In an interview on Fox News, Rubio described Trump’s trial as “a classic show trial” and typical of “communist countries.” He asserted that the trial was “an attempt to interfere in an election.”

Accompanying a video posted on X, Rubio wrote, “The public spectacle of political show trials has arrived in America.”

Rubio’s comments sparked backlash on social media, initially reported by The Palm Beach Post, with one commenter calling the comparison to Cuba’s military tribunals “ridiculous.”

“Comparing it to countries where people were executed for their political beliefs? That’s just offensive,” the commenter said.

Rubio was not the only one criticizing the U.S. judicial system post-Trump’s conviction. Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and also of Cuban descent, echoed similar sentiments. Cruz, like Rubio, is a lawyer and served as Texas solicitor general.

Born in Miami, Rubio’s parents left Cuba in the 1950s before Castro’s regime. Cruz, born in Canada, had a Cuban-born father who came to the U.S. in 1957 during the Cuban revolution.

Cruz called the guilty verdict “the kind of thing you see in banana republics,” expressing in an interview that he is “heartbroken for the rule of law.”

However, a scholar of American political rhetoric, Jennifer Mercieca, criticized Cruz and Rubio. She stated that Cruz and Rubio “should know better.”

“What you actually see with the claims made by Trump, Rubio, and Cruz is that they are acting like authoritarians by trying to undermine the rule of law,” said Mercieca, a professor at Texas A&M University and author of “Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump.”

“These are smart individuals. They have law degrees,” she noted of Rubio and Cruz. “They have family histories with authoritarian regimes and personal history with Donald Trump.”

Mercieca pointed out that testimony during Trump’s trial revealed that the National Enquirer had fabricated a story during the 2016 presidential campaign — when Trump and Cruz were rivals — alleging Cruz’s father was linked to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

She emphasized that claims by Trump, Rubio, and Cruz that the justice system is being corrupted by Democrats “are the kinds of things that undermine trust in the political process and democracy overall.”

Former Representative Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican and NBC News analyst, commented, “People can reasonably suggest or believe that this prosecutor had political motives, but Mr. Trump and his lawyers have had the opportunity to avail themselves of due process, which will continue.”

“To say we lack due process in the U.S. is not accurate,” Curbelo said, adding that some legal experts believe Trump has a fair chance to appeal the verdict.

“My grandfather was subjected to a political trial in Cuba, and it was nothing like the system in the U.S., which, while imperfect, is probably the fairest in the world,” Curbelo said. “The more we delegitimize our institutions, the closer we get to an authoritarian state — the less trust Americans have in our elections, the closer we are to losing our freedoms and liberties.”

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